Frank Vogel says Phil Jackson influenced his calm approach to coaching

Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson has had considerable influence on several current NBA coaches, including Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne wrote a story on how Jackson has offered advice to coaches like Vogel, Doc Rivers and Nick Nurse among others. Vogel talked about how he’s always admired Jackson, and he got to talk with him when he was a scout for the Lakers in 2006.

Vogel also got to chat with Jackson in 2016, when he was interviewing for the New York Knicks’ head coach job. During the interview, the two talked about different offensive and defensive schemes, including the Triangle Offense.

“I was raised in the Bobby Knight era of coaches,” Vogel said, per Shelburne. “You know, MF-this. MF-that. And Phil never did that. I just felt like his approach was — and I’m by no means a Zen guy — but the calm mental adjustment is something that I try to always carry with any conflict or any adversity my team faces.

“I always admired that approach, letting guys play in. Not bailing teams with timeouts, letting them play through things, figure things out themselves.”

Jackson, aptly nicknamed “The Zen Master,” is arguably the best coach in league history, and it’s because of his impeccable ability to manage different personalities. Vogel has regularly exuded a calm demeanor as well, especially in his first season with the Lakers, as he rarely seems to be rattled while on the sidelines. His game plans, as well that of the Lakers veteran coaching staff, were lauded by LeBron James throughout the season.

A defensive-minded coach, Vogel’s schemes helped the Lakers boast one of the league’s best defenses throughout the 2019-20 regular season. According to NBA.com stats, the Lakers ranked sixth in opponent field goal percentage and third in opponent points per game before the season was suspended.

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