For a while, it felt like Kevin Young would be the guy to lead the Phoenix Suns into the new era, but over the last week, it started to feel like “Why hasn’t this been announced?” We got our answer Friday morning in the form of a dark horse candidate, Frank Vogel, getting the job instead.
Vogel’s name was hardly uttered throughout the process, including ESPN’s Woj completely omitting him from the finalist group a little over a week ago. According to Arizona Sports insider John Gambadoro, Vogel started to take the lead “last Friday after he had a great interview here in Phoenix”.
Woj and Gambo both have reported the Suns’ interest in Young sticking around as an assistant under Vogel. Gambo’s also mentioned David Fizdale, who coached under Vogel in LA, as a possible top assistant candidate. Fizdale was also on Erik Spoelstra’s staff in Miami when Suns GM James Jones played for the Heat.
Out of coaching for the entirety of last season, he boasts an impressive resume over his 20+ years coaching in the Association. As a head coach:
frank vogel defensive ratings:— damon allred (@iamdamonallred) June 2, 2023
indiana: 12th (half-season), 9th, 1st, 1st, 7th, 3rd
orlando: 22nd, 18th
los angeles: 3rd, 1st, 21st
It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the reason this did draw out could’ve been convincing Devin Booker and Kevin Durant to be on board, and it’s probably my first question now, given how much we heard Booker backed Young as the candidate.
Vogel, who recently coached a similarly-scaled superstar tandem in LeBron James and Anthony Davis at the peak of their success as a duo, is reportedly a great communicator with players, and will allow freedom to those and other offensive creators, putting them in the right structure to do so.
It also perks me up to think about how bigs like Davis and Roy Hibbert succeeded on both ends under Vogel and the chance Deandre Ayton has to do the same, if he sticks around and approaches the new change the right way. You’d think after all the turbulence between he and Monty Williams, any change is good change.
Speaking of Williams, the 5-year, $31-million deal stands out to me given that it’s literally less than half of what Williams is set to make in Detroit now. I also think back to when Williams was first hired, Phoenix won him away from LA, who then hired Vogel and won a championship in his first season there.
Could this be the revolving doors moment that brings Phoenix their own title?
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