Report: Frank Vogel was given 'assurances' by Lakers management to be harsh while coaching Russell Westbrook - Lakers Daily

Report: Frank Vogel was given ‘assurances’ by Lakers management to be harsh while coaching Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel Adam Pantozzi-NBAE via Getty Images

During the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel boldly benched superstar Russell Westbrook toward the end of the game.

While Vogel was harsh in his benching of Westbrook, he reportedly had assurances from the franchise’s top dogs on the big move.

“Long before Russell Westbrook was benched down the stretch of Wednesday’s 111-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel was given assurances that the organization would support him in taking a hard line while coaching the star, sources told ESPN,” wrote Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“Over the past week and a half, Lakers management has told the coaching staff to coach Westbrook as they see fit, even if that means pulling him from a game, as Vogel did for the final 3 minutes, 52 seconds of the fourth quarter against Indiana, sources told ESPN.

“One source close to the situation described the message from management to the staff as, ‘You got to do what you got to do.'”

Westbrook, 33, had an abysmal performance in the Lakers’ terrible loss to the Pacers.

The 2017 MVP gathered 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the field as well as three assists and two rebounds. Following his benching, the guard stormed out of the arena and did not converse with the media.

The Lakers, who are the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with a 22-23 record, are in a pickle. The team is in dire need of help but has nominal assets to work with.

Of course, much of the blame has fallen on Vogel. In fact, his job is reportedly on the line due to the Lakers’ woes.

The Lakers are agog to get back Anthony Davis, who is close to returning from injury. The veteran is averaging 23.3 points, 9.9 boards and 2.9 assists per game this season.