Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Dismisses the Narrative about the Older Players on the Roster

Published 09/22/2021, 11:20 PM EDT
Jun 1, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Wesley Matthews (9) react as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker looks on in the second half during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Lakers have their legacy on the line. Rob Pelinka’s front office, after taking a disappointing loss in the last playoffs, completely overturned the Lake Show roster. They did everything possible to surround LeBron James with the win-now talents. So when the 2021-22 season begins, the margin for error for this LA team would be close to zero.

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But even before the games begin, the Lakers Nation is facing enough resistance from NBA pundits who feel they’re too old. It’s a legit question whether this team could fare as expected against much younger and quicker squads. That’s where Frank Vogel came out to rescue his unit from doubts.

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Lakers coach making a case for his aged men

In a recent interview with Allie Clifton and Chris Geeter McGee, head coach Frank Vogel joked about this age-related narrative. The champion coach exclaimed, “I’m not asked, I’m 𝙏𝙊𝙇𝘿 that we’re old… I’m in my mid-30s, I like that… It sounds wonderful.” 

The 48-YO (who looks 15 years younger) Wildwood product, has previously coached the Pacers and the Magic. Although he did not ever really coached a team this old (joining the Pacers after Reggie Miller’s retirement), the man has all the faith in himself and his men.

The New Jersey-born added, “I don’t really like the narrative. I don’t. These guys can play. We have great players on our team. Yes, some of them are towards the end of their career. But, they’re still producing at a high level. If you’re producing at a high level, it doesn’t matter how old you are.” 

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 12: LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers looks into the stands after a spectator threw a hat onto the floor as he and his squad played the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter of Los Angeles’ 120-116 win on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The only way this aging issue can haunt and bite the Lakers is the path that goes through injuries. Last year, the Lakers had LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Dennis Schroder injuring themselves in turns, and that cost them their rank and eventually the season.

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How can the men in golden & purple use this to their advantage?

The average age of the Lakers stands at 30.9, much more than the league average of 26.2 years. Carmelo Anthony (37), LeBron (36), Trevor Ariza (36), Dwight Howard (35), Wayne Ellington (33), and Russell Westbrook (32) are all those vets on the starry roster. Even the arrival of DeAndre Jordan (33) almost equated the exit of Marc Gasol (36).

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But if these guys can stay fit and play with unity, there’s absolutely no one stopping their success. One reason why LeBron James is holding a mini-camp to bring everyone together. And just as coach Vogel also stated, “Some guys use it [criticism] as motivation. I just think we are a good team. It has a chance to be great if we come together.” 

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So what’s your say, with a much more balanced yet aging Lakers unit, do they stand a 95%+ chance to win the title? Help us learn in the comments section below.

Watch this story – Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Other Lakers Players Who Changed Their Jersey Numbers Multiple Times

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Sourabh Singh

1700 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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