However, the other major move made by the team was hiring former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel.
The hire undoubtedly came as a surprise, especially considering it was reported the Lakers had agreed to bring in former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue for the job until negotiations fell apart. Thus came the notion that Vogel wasn’t the team’s first choice and the questions about whether James approved of him.
However, if there’s one player who knows what Vogel is capable of as a head coach, it is James — who squared off with him in numerous playoff appearances as a member of the Miami Heat. James recently revealed his thoughts and what he knew would come when Vogel was hired, via Lakers:
“I felt that we would be extremely prepared as an organization, as a ball club just going against his Pacers teams and numerous postseason runs and also in the regular season. They were always one of our toughest opponents when I was in Miami when he was at the helm and they were always prepared.”
“I knew that for sure once Rob and everyone in the upstairs decided to choose him as our head coach, I knew he would be very prepared.”
That certainly showed in the 2019 NBA preseason as the Lakers looked prepared and ready to go from the beginning. While it is just the preseason, it showed what this team is capable of on both sides of the floor.
Offensivelym the Lakers looked unstoppable at times, especially when James and Davis ran the pick-and-roll together. With JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard lingering around the rim for a lob and Danny Green and Avery Bradley spotting up in the corners, it was ‘pick your poison’ for the defense.
On the other side, the length of Davis, McGee, and Howard at the rim gave the opposition fits while Bradley and Green showed their ability on the perimeter allowing James to roam and make plays. Even the reserves showed their mettle multiple times with the likes of Zach Norvell Jr., Alex Caruso, and Devontae Cacok being ready when called upon.
Should the Lakers struggle during the 2019-20 NBA season, questions about Vogel and whether James truly wants him there are sure to pop up.
But for now, James looks revitalized and the Lakers look prepared to make a run to the 2020 NBA Finals.