Fire Frank Vogel and Make Phil Handy Interim Head Coach for Rest of Season

As usual, there was no lack of culprits to blame for the Lakers’ 117–115 loss last night to the Warriors. While LeBron and AD had subpar games and the Lakers missed 11 free throws, the major culprit for the loss was Frank Vogel.

Between his wacky lineups and senseless favoring of veterans like DeAndre Jordan or Avery Bradley, Frank Vogel has obviously lost this Lakers team. The players aren’t listening to him and the time’s finally come to make a change. Vogel may not be the only reason the Lakers have struggled but it’s impossible to envision a scenario where he suddenly is able to turn this team around. Frank is already a lame duck coach. The Lakers just need to make it official.

Why should the Lakers make the change now instead of waiting until this summer? Because they need to stop the bleeding now and start winning. Otherwise, they risk losing the chance to re-sign Malik Monk this summer. Even more importantly, next season is the last season LeBron James is under contract with the Lakers. The last thing the Lakers want is for LeBron James to suddenly start thinking about taking his talent to some other NBA team.

The other reason for the Lakers making the change now rather than later is it will give them an opportunity to test drive Phil Handy as the head coach of the future. In many ways, Phil could be the perfect coach for the L.A. Lakers. He’s a respected former player who’s greatest strength has been his ability to connect with NBA players whether superstars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or Kawhi Leonard or young guns like Austin Reaves or Malik Monk.

Of all the Lakers coaches, Phil Handy has the best understanding of the power of offense. Most of Handy’s player development success has been expanding players’ fundamental offensive repertoires with new moves and counters. Handy’s approach has always been showing players what to do visually by working with them one-on-one on the court, actually teaching them by showing them exactly what to do. That approach resonates with players.

Phil Handy is going to be part of the next wave of new NBA coaches. He was a finalist for the Washington Wizards head coaching gig last season and has been one of the most highly sought after assistant coaches in the entire NBA. Firing Frank Vogel and promoting Phil Handy to Interim Head Coach could be the only potential game-changing move left for the Lakers’ front office to deploy to try and get the attention of this frustrating, disappointing roster.

Wasting the last 25 games left in this season by allowing Frank Vogel to continue to replicate the same mistakes that have plagued the team all season would be senseless. Time to fire Frank Vogel and give Phil Handy a shot.

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