Pregame Post-Ups: Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Still Feels Love for C's
Monday, Jan. 20 - Lakers at Celtics
Pregame – Lakers Coach Frank Vogel Still Feels Love for C's
BOSTON – As soon as the Lakers' bus pulled into TD Garden Monday night, Frank Vogel felt right at home. Despite now being the head coach of Boston’s archrival, the longtime Celtics assistant still holds a special place in his heart for the storied franchise and all of its components.
“I’ve always felt warmth coming here because I got my start here,” Vogel said prior to tip-off. “I was here for seven years. I met my wife here. I had my first daughter here in Boston. And this organization will always be special to me.”
What makes this visit even more special for Vogel is that he gets to compete against a good friend of his, Brad Stevens. The pair developed their friendship in Indiana long before Stevens entered the NBA, and have remained close ever since.
Stevens spoke Monday morning about how closely he has followed Vogel’s career, from his head coaching stops in Indiana, Orlando, and now in Los Angeles.
“I love Frank. I've known him forever,” Stevens said. “First time I really spent any time with him was at a park in Indiana and our kids were playing on the swing set. I've had a chance to watch him up close and have learned a lot from watching him. I thought when he moved on from Indiana and Orlando, it was proof there are really good coaches out there, that if they find the right spot, everything is going to be great. This is a great spot and he's done a great job. I'm really happy for him. I told him he looks terrible in purple but other than that, he's a good friend.”
While Vogel was in between jobs last season, he actually spent a great deal of time around Stevens and the Celtics. During that time, the coaching duo spent hours picking each other’s minds and growing even closer.
“We loved having him around last year,” Stevens said. “He was around at least a couple of times and every time we played Orlando (during the previous two seasons) I’d meet him for coffee and get together. It’s fun to see him land this way because he’s a great coach and a better person.”
On Monday night, however, their friendship will momentarily turn into a rivalry, as they lead the two most storied NBA franchises into battle.
“I'll like him again tomorrow,” Stevens joked.
- Taylor Snow