Lakers Front Office Eviscerated by Richard Jefferson for Mistreatment of Frank Vogel

Numerous people deserve blame for the Los Angeles Lakers’ disappointing 2021-22 season. But one man turned out to be the team’s scapegoat: Frank Vogel.

LA wasted no time firing its head coach. The front office made it official the day after the regular-season finale. And general manager Rob Pelinka later addressed the decision during his exit interview.

However, Pelinka can no longer sneak on by without getting criticism himself. Former NBA player Richard Jefferson made sure of that by delivering a stern message about the situation.

He didn’t hold back in the slightest.

Richard Jefferson blasted Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ front office

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka in 2019.
General Manager Rob Pelinka during a Los Angeles Lakers press conference on May 20, 2019. | Icon Sportswire

Rob Pelinka faced the media on April 11 to discuss the drama-filled 2021-22 Lakers season. During his availability, a reporter asked him why the team felt firing Frank Vogel was the first move it had to make, especially considering that Vogel didn’t put the trash can the team called a roster together.

“Today’s not going to be a day of finger-pointing or unwinding all the specific reasons,” he said, per the team’s YouTube. “We just felt organizationally at the highest level it was time for a new voice, and those decisions are made at the very top level in a collaborative way. … We just felt like it was time for a new voice.”

Pelinka praised Vogel as a coach but said the front office felt it “was time for a new leader.”

However, his comments didn’t sit well with some, especially former NBA player Richard Jefferson, who had a lot to say on the April 11 episode of NBA Today.

“What are you talking about? This is the definition [of finger-pointing],” Jefferson said of the team’s decision to fire Vogel the day after the season ended. “… Everyone deserves a piece of this blame pie, if you will; every single person. But let’s talk about how cowardice it is. [Adrian Wojnarowski] tweeted one minute after the game that Frank Vogel was fired. And then you want to sit here and talk about ‘trust and this and that.’ The Lakers didn’t even have the decency to inform the coach that won them a championship 18 months ago that they were going to let him go.”

Jefferson then went on to look at the state of the Lakers as a franchise and the tumultuous events that have transpired over the last few years, including Magic Johnson’s departure as president of basketball operations.

“The Laker organization is in utter disarray before we even start talking about on the court,” he said. “… It was disrespectful what they did to Frank Vogel, and there’s just no changing that.”

Will anyone want to coach the Lakers?

Richard Jefferson made some excellent points; the Lakers are a mess.

And they are now in a challenging situation.

LA needs to hire someone LeBron James respects, or that will become another issue next season. But who will want to coach this team?

The Lakers not only have a terrible roster that would set anyone up for failure, but the front office proved it doesn’t care about its coaches. It would have treated Frank Vogel, who won the team a championship in 2020, much better if it did. And its mistreatment of Vogel has already had a ripple effect. According to a report from Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who is potentially a strong candidate for the job, is supposedly less interested in the position due to the way the team handled Vogel’s departure.

Pelinka and company haven’t done themselves any favors in recent weeks, and it looks like the Lakers could be in for a messy offseason.

Get your popcorn ready.

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