WATCH: LeBron James Switches On to Head Coach Mode During Lakers vs Spurs

Published 10/26/2021, 10:07 PM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3), forward LeBron James (23) and coach Frank Vogel react in the second half during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


In the Lakers’ first season victory that came against the Grizzlies, Russell Westbrook’s single-handed pass to Austin Reaves was a highlight. Then, in the absence of LeBron James from the Spurs game, the same Russ got the leading charge of the night. 

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Coach Frank Vogel quickly substituted Russ with Rajon Rondo and then brought the former back with under three minutes left in Q1. But it wasn’t until Q2 that the Lakers really took off. And The Akron Hammer had a lot to do with it.

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LeBron James doing his bit as an unofficial head coach

With the Lakers marginally leading at 41-38 (halfway into Q2), LeBron James donned the head coach’s hat. He came down to the sideline and gave Malik Monk some quick lessons with both Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook on the bench. 

Wearing a grey sweater/cap, transparent specs, and dark grey shorts, Bron looked as casual as one can. That his attire’s color matched with Phil Handy’s track upper completely made him look like a Lakers coach. Take a look – 

Beyond this coaching, the Lakers soon jumped to a 48-42 lead after Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo’s respective layups. Until halftime, the Lakers trailed 61-62. 

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Frank Vogel again on the target

The world knows how much people criticize Frank Vogel for his crazy rotation ideas. So in the away game in AT&T center (that had enough Lakers fans), the head coach played Russ & Rondo together. This duo sharing the court didn’t do any good to the Lakers and in fact, got them trailing in Q1. 

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Dec 22, 2020; Frank Vogel talks with referee Eric Dalen against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Lakers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ideally, the coach could have allowed Avery Bradley some minutes during the same time. But that didn’t happen and the Spurs quickly utilized the opportunity. It’s as if the Lakers coach goes a little experimenting whenever LeBron James is not around.

However, for a change, this game especially looked better in terms of the building chemistry between Russ and Anthony Davis. They both combined for 28 points before Q3 but went 0/3 from the long-range.

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Do you see the Lakers winning from here? Help us know your prediction in the comments section below.

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Sourabh Singh

1739 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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