The Los Angeles Lakers will be without head coach Frank Vogel for their game against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night after he entered the league's health and safety protocols, the team said Sunday. David Fizdale will serve as head coach against the Bulls.
Vogel is the third NBA head coach to enter the league's health and safety protocols this season, joining Alvin Gentry of the Sacramento Kings and Rick Carlisle of the Indiana Pacers. As of now, it's unclear when Vogel will be able to return to the sidelines.
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The Lakers also announced that veteran wing Kent Bazemore has entered the protocols, furthering their roster issues. Between players in the protocols and injuries, the Lakers are without nine players (including Trevor Ariza, who is listed as questionable and could make his season debut on Sunday).
Most notably, Anthony Davis went down with a scary looking knee injury in the team's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. An MRI revealed a sprained MCL, and he will be sidelined for at least four weeks. Even though he's struggled at times this season, that is still a massive loss for the Lakers.
They enter Sunday tied for fifth place in the Western Conference at 16-14 -- a mark which has led to criticism of Vogel at various points. There have even been whispers about him losing his job, but so far it hasn't come to that. LeBron James placed the blame for the Lakers' slow start on the players, and Vogel hasn't had an easy go of things given their massive injury problems.
Unless things really go south, to the point that the Lakers are in danger of missing the playoffs, it seems like Vogel will remain in charge. While he hasn't been perfect this season, he did guide them to a title in 2020 and was not responsible for putting together this roster.