The Philadelphia 76ers‘ offseason has started early, and with the dismissal of Doc Rivers, the team is in the market for a new head coach. Former Lakers’ head coach Frank Vogel was on the shortlist that ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski provided after announcing that the Sixers were moving on from Rivers. Local sports insider John Clark revealed that the team interviewed Vogel for their vacant head coach position today. Vogel is a veteran coach, but would he be a good fit? Would he be able to get the 76ers over the hump?
Frank Vogel’s Resume
Frank Vogel is a Wildwood Crest, New Jersey native who started his career in coaching with the Boston Celtics in 2001. He started off as a video coordinator and was promoted to assistant coach under Rick Pitino until 2004. He then had stops in Philadelphia with the 76ers and then Indiana as an assistant coach before being named the head coach of the Pacers in the summer of 2011. Vogel was known for leading the Indiana Pacers with Paul George, David West, and Roy Hibbert as they became one of the Eastern Conference powers, clashing with the Miami Heat for supremacy.
After five mostly successful seasons with the Pacers, his contract was not renewed, and he moved on to become the head coach of the Orlando Magic. During his two years with the Magic, he only won 54 games total, missing the playoffs. He was brought in to help build upon a young Magic squad but could not lead them up the standings in the Eastern Conference, which led to his firing at the end of the 2018 season.
In May 2019, he was hired as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers to help get the LeBron James and Anthony Davis-led Lakers to the postseason. Known for his defensive schemes, Vogel helped the Lakers become the best defensive team in the league and the top team in the Western Conference.
After the league was stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NBA restarted in the fall in the “bubble” at Disney World. The Lakers continued their dominance, and Vogel helped guide the Lakers to their 17th championship in team history. Vogel’s next two seasons at the helm were underwhelming as they were riddled with injuries to his top two stars. Vogel was fired after the 2021-22 season after the Lakers finished 33-49 and second to last in the Western Conference.
What he could bring to the 76ers
Vogel is known for his defensive schematics and would bring that to Philadelphia. The Sixers, at times during the season, showed they could be a very good defensive team, but offense was more of the priority. Depending on the personnel that the Philadelphia 76ers bring back, Vogel could help really turn this team into a consistently better defensive team.
A team with Joel Embiid protecting the rim can turn into a suffocating defense if they can get better perimeter defense. If the team still has a starting backcourt of Tyrese Maxey and James Harden, Vogel could possibly help scheme a way for the 76ers not to suffer as much on defense with those two players on the court.
Vogel has a good defensive background, championship experience, and experience managing multiple stars in the locker room. Those are all the ingredients to front office should be looking for in a coach, but will Vogel get a real shot to be the coach? If he does, can he get the Philadelphia 76ers over the hump?