Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was “very impressive” during his interview for the Houston Rockets’ head coaching position, according to ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“One candidate who has emerged as a formidable candidate in this Houston Rockets search: former Lakers coach Frank Vogel,” Wojnarowski said. “He interviewed earlier this week and I’m told was very impressive to the people in Houston. I think he’s going to be brought back again.”
The Rockets are in the market for a new coach after the team declined to pick up the fourth-year option on Stephen Silas’ deal after the 2022-23 regular season.
Silas was the Rockets’ head coach for three seasons, leading the team to a 59-177 record overall. Houston won 22 games in the 2022-23 season, the most in Silas’ tenure.
The Rockets traded away James Harden in Silas’ first season with the team, and he never was able to get the young roster out of the basement of the Western Conference.
Vogel led the Lakers to an NBA title during the 2019-20 season, but he was fired at the conclusion of the 2021-22 regular season after the Lakers failed to make the playoffs.
Through his three seasons as the Lakers’ head coach, Vogel compiled a 127-98 record and won 18 playoff games.
Prior to being named the Lakers’ head coach, Vogel had head coaching stints with the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic. He also spent time as an assistant with the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Vogel has an impressive coaching resume, and he may be the right fit to help the Rockets turn things around.
Houston has a very young team, and it struggled mightily on the defensive end in the 2022-23 season, ranking 29th in the league in defensive rating. Vogel, a defensive-minded head coach, led the Lakers to the No. 1 defensive rating in the NBA in the 2020-21 season.
Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and others have shown signs that they can be quality NBA players, but the Rockets may need to bring in a veteran or two if they really want to compete for a playoff spot.
Houston will have another lottery pick this offseason to add to its roster.
Vogel did not coach a team in the 2022-23 season, but he seems to have a shot to return to the sidelines next season.