Gilbert Arenas Rubbishes Lakers’ Historic 2020 Championship Win Under LeBron James and Frank Vogel: “You Were Supposed to Win That Championship”

Published 01/24/2022, 10:30 AM EST

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The Los Angeles Lakers have had high expectations riding on them since the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. Led by LeBron James, along with support from NBA stars Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, fans expected domination from the Lakers right from the start. But that has not been the case. With their latest loss against the Miami Heat, LeBron and Co. now sit at the 8th seed in the Western Conference with a 23-24 record.

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After the loss in their recent matchup against the Pacers, former NBA star, Gilbert Arenas sat down with Josiah Johnson, to discuss whether the Frank Vogel’s role in the Lakers’ current situation. Arenas shed light on Frank Vogel’s coaching issues by taking the example of the 2020 championship win where LeBron won his 4th ring and a finals MVP.

Vogel’s coaching during LeBron’s 4th Championship

Back in 2020, the Lakers suited up against the Miami Heat in the Orlando bubble to decide who would be crowned NBA champions. Led by LeBron, the Lakers ousted the Heat in 6 games to win the series 4-2. Despite this historic win, Gilbert Arenas had something different to say about Frank Vogel.

“When he won the championship, I said it. I give him, what a ‘C’? A ‘C’ at best, right? Because you were supposed to win that championship. Like there was no way you could lose that championship. Like you couldn’t lose! So I’m judging you on how you actually played the game,” explained Arenas.

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Arenas then added to how the Lakers should have swept the Heat. He gave details on how LeBron and AD had to carry a huge load and why the Vogel’s lineup choices were poor. He argued that the load on LeBron and AD was large because the Lakers’ guards were unable to defend Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro. Added to this were pre-planned decisions like benching Dwight Howard without assessing in-game situations.

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LeBron’s Numbers – 2019-20 & 2021-22

It’s quite evident to NBA fans that LeBron is the focal point of the Lakers. This fact held true during the 2019-20 season and the 2021-22. Although the bubble winning Lakers had massive support from ‘AD,’ his injury this season led to LeBron carrying the scoring load alongside a heavily criticized Westbrook.

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Apart from scoring, LeBron contributes with his assists as well. This season, his assists created 586 points for the Lakers. When combined with the total points he has scored this season, he contributes to 30.6% of the total points scored by the Lakers, which is 12.2% lower than his contributions in the 2019-20 season. Indeed, Arenas was right about the load on LeBron in the 2019-20 season.

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In Conclusion

Arenas suggests that Vogel is not on the same wavelength as his squad. Added to this are the speculations surrounding the future of Westbrook at LA. Although AD’s return is imminent, LeBron will still have to be the face of the Lakers. Only time will dictate the fate of the King.

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What do you think will happen with the Lakers this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Sameer Prasad Koppolu

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Sameer is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having graduated from Manipal Institute of Technology, he has always had a keen interest in basketball and the numbers behind the game. With a goal to become a Sports Performance Analyst for a professional sports team, Sameer brings insights backed by data.
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