The Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach search seems to have finally reached the end with multiple NBA insiders claiming that Frank Vogel, the former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach, will take over the reins ahead of the 2019-20 season. He will replace Luke Walton, who parted ways with the team after yet another disappointing campaign.

Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue were the initial frontrunners for the vacancy, but the former took an offer from the Phoenix Suns, while the latter was not happy with the deal on offer. Lue was said to be the preferred candidate owing to his relationship with LeBron James but wanted a five-year deal and not the three-years that was on the table.

Many have questioned the logic behind Vogel being appointed head coach. But former Lakers stars Shaquille O’Neal and Robert Horry have come to Vogel’s defense and called for the new head coach, who has reportedly agreed a three-year deal, to be given time to settle down.

“Give him a chance,” O’Neal told The Los Angeles Times on Sunday talking about Vogel. “That’s the least people can do. He did a good job in Indiana, right? So give him a chance to see if he does a good job with the Lakers.”

Frank Vogel
Head coach Frank Vogel of the Orlando Magic looks on in the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 9, 2018. Getty Images/Dylan Buell

Horry, who won three of his seven NBA championships with the Lakers, agreed with O’Neil and asked fans and supporters of the franchise not to compare Vogel with previous greats such as Phil Jackson and Pat Riley. He believes Vogel could end up being the right appointment if given a proper chance.

“Give the man a chance, because there really is no right coach out there,” Horry said. “There is no Phil Jackson walking through that door. There is no Pat Riley walking through that door. So nobody is ever going to be happy with what coach they get. Vogel might be the perfect coach. Who knows?”

However, another former Laker Ron Harper was not in agreement with O’Neil and Horry and believes the team made a mistake by not appointing Lue as their new head coach. He feels Vogel is not a step up compared to Walton unlike Lue, who has won an NBA championship with James during their stint together in Cleveland.

"Ty Lue won an NBA championship in Cleveland with LeBron James,” Harper said. “Ty Lue should have been the next head coach. That’s where I stand at. I know I don’t have a vote in it. I know I ain’t got nothing riding on it, but Ty Lue should have been the next coach."

“I don’t know if Frank Vogel is a step up from Luke. That’s what it’s going to boil down to, right? I thought Luke should have kept the job. I thought Luke got a raw deal too,” he added.