Letters to Sports: Lakers bosses won’t fix their problems by firing Frank Vogel

Lakers coach Frank Vogel argues after a point with official Courtney Kirkland.
L.A. Times readers believe coach Frank Vogel, arguing after a call with official Courtney Kirkland on Friday in Orlando, is being made a scapegoat for the Lakers’ problems.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

I noticed that Magic Johnson weighed in on the Lakers’ lack of effort in Denver. As I remember it, when the going got tough for Magic in the Lakers’ front office, he quit. Maybe we’ve heard enough from him for a while.

David Waldowsi
Laguna Woods


Hey, Magic, where was your outrage when generations of fans were deprived of the last several years of Vin Scully and the Dodgers because of the TV fiasco? As Dodger fans didn’t we deserve better as well?


Marty Cohn
Santa Barbara


It’s time for the Lakers to move on from Frank Vogel. They are a team with a history of great centers, yet he has turned them into a small-ball team with no rim protection. I hate his non-use of DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. I’m sick of watching LeBron James with four guards. Pathetic Sacramento scored 70 points in the paint! There was nobody to swat their shots once they blew by the Lakers’ guards. Even when AD returns, he’ll be on the perimeter chasing guards instead of battling for rebounds and blocking shots in the paint. It’s too painful to watch.

Eric J. Chambers

Frank Vogel replaced Dwight Howard with Stanley Johnson, who helped spark a second-half Lakers scoring run during a 116-105 win over the Orlando Magic.


So Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis actually think the problem with this Lakers team is Frank Vogel? Wasn’t it Pelinka who over the last two years dismantled the 2020 championship team that focused on defense and athleticism and replaced them with older players with less than stellar defensive reputations? Vogel didn’t trade for Russell Westbrook, who is terrible finishing around the basket and is an atrocious shooter who doesn’t fit well with LeBron James. Vogel didn’t trade all their defensive stalwarts. And why is Rambis even involved in this, he of the 72-173 coaching record? Management needs to look themselves in the eyes and tell themselves, “We created this mess. It’s our responsibility to fix it.” And firing Coach Vogel is pure scapegoating.

Danny Balber Jr.


The architects (Pelinka, James) come up with the blueprint. The owner (Buss) signs off on the plan. Vogel, the contractor, er coach, works with the materials given him by the architect and is expected to deliver a world-class product with seemingly sub-standard elements not of his choosing.

And from there we get rumblings, innuendo and cookie-cutter sound bites that dodge the crux of the matter. This Lakers squad lacks heart, they have no pride, they coast and cash their checks.

It would be refreshing if the responsible parties, all mired in mediocrity, spoke candidly — and truthfully — about what is really going on.

David Griffin

Lakers star Anthony Davis (sprained left knee ligament) has been upgraded to questionable for Sunday’s game in Miami and will be a game-time decision.


I don’t know who is driving the narrative that Frank Vogel has to go because of his underachieving team, but it makes no sense.

I think most fans realize that the Lakers will struggle with Anthony Davis out, so until he gets back (or with his injury history, IF he gets back), nobody outside of the Laker’s front office should be clamoring for any coaching changes.

Ken Blake


They need to take the O from the new arena name for the Lakers and just call it Crypt because the Lakers look dead and buried. They are an embarrassment to the city of L.A.

Craig London
Woodland Hills

Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half Friday night to help the Lakers pick up a 116-105 road victory over the Orlando Magic.

Four more years?

About your article “UCLA brings back Chip Kelly,” this was the perfect opportunity for UCLA to rebuild its devastated football program and bring the fans back to the Rose Bowl. However, the school administration went in another direction. Notwithstanding the fact that Kelly has the worst record of any football coach in UCLA’s history with a tenure of four years, they inexplicably saw fit to give him not only another four-year contract but also to increase his pay. It appears to me that UCLA has effectively written off its football program and made a firm commitment to mediocrity.

Jeffrey Clark
Coto de Caza


I was initially impressed by the UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond’s ability to bring in Nike’s Jumpman and get College GameDay on campus.

But the justification press release to retain Kelly is eyebrow raising. He states, “Our winning % increased every year.” Since when should three-, four- and three-win seasons ever be acceptable?

Secondly, Jarmond writes, “... upward trajectory of our football program.” Kelly is 2-22(!) versus teams with winning records, including getting crushed twice by Lincoln Riley, and in his fourth year, Kelly went 0-4 versus winning teams. His rehire signals “Champions Made Here” is no longer the mantra for UCLA football.

David Choromanski
Manhattan Beach

A rash of injuries and COVID-19 issues have kept UCLA from running on all cylinders. The Bruins are hoping to play more cohesively.


Just a guess, but I think there are more USC fans excited about Kelly’s new contract than Bruins fans. USC’s loss to the Bruins this year got it done. Four more years!

Judy Thomsen

Running from racism

I always wondered why, after the Rams finally got a quarterback, they traded away Eric Dickerson, the greatest running back of his era. I figured it was the cheapness of Georgia Frontiere, but I didn’t realize the racism involved. I’m a lot less clueless now than I was then.

Mike Schaller
Temple City


My only memory of Dickerson was that he was an outstanding running back for the Rams. After reading this article, I now see him as an ungrateful and contract-challenged individual whose lifelong passion has become getting fans like me to feel sorry for him.

Scott Golden
La Mirada

Critics worried how the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. would affect the Rams’ culture, but he has been all good on and off the field, and his teammates love it.

Djokovic’s antics

Before the anti-vaxxers get all weepy-eyed about Novak Djokovic’s expulsion from the Aussie Open, we should remember this is the same guy who injured a lineswoman at the U.S. Open, endangered countless people with COVID at his superspreader events, and is certainly a hypocrite (he criticized Naomi Osaka at the recent French Open for “not following the rules”). The Aussies may have botched the operation, but the patient got what he deserved.

David Wilczynski
Manhattan Beach

Too much rambling

It’s depressing enough to watch the last two UCLA basketball games with no spectators, but to suffer through Bill Walton makes it almost unbearable. Once again, Babblin’ Bill destroys the viewer experience with a constant stream of irrelevance that is of interest only to him. Take away any subject over 10 years old, and unrelated anecdotes from non-basketball sports, and he’d have nothing to say. And wouldn’t that be nice.

Ron Levin
Pacific Palisades

Fair representation

You don’t really report on women’s sports at all, do you? A tennis great, Chris Evert, has cancer. But would you know from The Times? Or about any women’s athletes, sports, leagues in the greater metro area. We are two subscribers, both women, both fans of all kinds of sports, men’s and women’s, but NEVER read zip about it in the L.A. Times.

Carol Pierman
Point Richmond

Inspired play

My dad — who passed away at age 92 on MLK Day — always enjoyed reading my letters in this space. He was raised in Kansas City and was a Rams season-ticket holder from the “Crazylegs” Hirsch days.

Like Brett Favre seemed to be on a mission during that 2004 MNF game just after his father passed away, during their first-round playoff games it seemed the Chiefs and Rams were playing for my dad. Hopefully they keep that up in their games this weekend.

Ken Feldman

Tom Brady has seen it all on his way to collecting seven Super Bowl wins, and the Rams realize the only way to stop the Buccaneers quarterback is with a vicious pass rush.


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