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Suns’ Dismissal Of Frank Vogel Leads To Bill Simmons’ Harsh Take On The Number Of Coaches LeBron James And Kevin Durant Have Had

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Suns' Dismissal Of Frank Vogel Leads To Bill Simmons' Harsh Take On The Number Of Coaches LeBron James And Kevin Durant Have Had

The Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers will hunt for new head coaches during the offseason. The Lakers fired Darvin Ham only three days after their season-ending loss to the Denver Nuggets, while the Suns announced that they were parting ways with Frank Vogel following their humiliating 4-0 series defeat against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The writing was on the wall for Ham and Vogel after they failed to lead their respective teams past the first hurdle in the playoffs. However, the Ringer’s Bill Simmons noted that the duo had been on thin ice since the day they were hired. Following the Suns’ announcement about Vogel’s departure, Simmons posted a shocking stat about LeBron James and Kevin Durant on X, formerly Twitter. He wrote,

“LeBron and KD have had 10 coaches combined since Game 1 of the 2018 Finals… and that number is about to jump to 12.”

The stat is shocking but accurate. The 2018 NBA Finals pitted James’ Cleveland Cavaliers against Durant’s Golden State Warriors, with the latter coming out on top with a 4-0 series win. Since then, neither star has played under one head coach for too long.

Following James’ arrival in LA in the 2018 offseason, the Lakers have run through three head coaches in six years and are now looking for a fourth. On the flip side, Durant has played for six different coaches on three franchises since winning the NBA title with the Warriors in 2018.

The leash is quite short for coaches leading teams that employ James or Durant. If either one is on the roster, reaching the Conference Finals is the bare minimum and anything less will likely lead to an overhaul, as ten different head coaches have learned in the last six years. Having James or Durant to rely on is a luxury, but it also comes with the pressure of finding success instantly.

While franchises usually offer coaches a few seasons to construct a roster and instill their philosophy, that isn’t the case if either of the two superstars is on the team. In that case, winning becomes the only criterion, and failing to fulfill the requirement will lead to a swift exit, as Ham and Vogel have found out over the past week.

Bill Simmons slams the Suns for making Frank Vogel the scapegoat

While the Suns’ disastrous campaign was a collective failure, head coach Frank Vogel and his coaching staff are the only ones who’ve been held responsible for it. Bill Simmons was irked about his firing and called out Phoenix’s front office for setting him up for failure. He posted a scathing review of the Suns’ front office’s underwhelming job of building a roster.

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley had identical views about the Suns and Lakers’ failures. He claimed that Ham and Vogel were victims of the front office’s failures and those responsible for building the roster should be the ones to lose their jobs, not the coaches. However, the people Barkley expects to be held accountable are the ones who decide the fate of the coaches.

Ham and Vogel have been ousted and two new coaches will try to help LeBron James and Kevin Durant add to their championship tallies. It’ll be difficult for the Lakers and Suns to make sweeping changes to their roster that’d make them exponentially better than last season.

However, the expectation from the new head coaches won’t diminish, as neither team will accept anything less than a title win to guarantee their coaches’ job security beyond the upcoming campaign.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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