Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel explained his approach to working with stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis this season.
Vogel will lead the Lakers in the upcoming NBA season after Luke Walton left Los Angeles, where it has been six successive campaigns without playoff basketball.
The Lakers have boosted their postseason and championship chances by luring Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to team up with superstar James.
Vogel knows he is facing big expectations entering his first season and in a Q&A with NBA.com, the former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic coach said: "Talent-wise, they're the two best players I'll ever have had the opportunity to coach.
"That brings a lot of fun, a lot of excitement to what we're able to do on the court. It brings a lot of challenges too. You have to make sure you're managing them the right way and putting them in the right positions to feel good about their roles and what's happening around them. There are challenges involved with that. So I'm looking forward to how that all is going to play out."
Vogel replaces Walton, who parted ways with the Lakers after three seasons and just one with James.
Walton and James built a 20-14 record before the 15-time All-Star missed five weeks due to injury.
Anthony Davis has made his intentions clear. https://t.co/rmLDSoRX5X— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 10, 2019
Vogel acknowledged some of the concerns that coaches have when it comes to leading James, but said he is not relying on the three-time NBA champion's past relationships with coaches to determine how the two will bond on the court.
"I only know how he's been with me. That's the only measuring stick I'm going to use," Vogel said. "I'm not going to look at how it's been with his past coaches. That really doesn't concern me. I want to shape my own opinion of him as a person and one of the greatest ever. I'm going to take my approach and work together with him to hopefully do something special."
As for Davis? Vogel explained that it will be important to determine whether the six-time All-Star plays forward or center.
"To me, he's effective in both positions. But I don't think it's wise when your mindset is to be at your best going into the playoffs, to have him banging with centers for 82 games full time," Vogel added. "Does that mean he's never going to do it in the regular season? No, of course he's going to play some center in the regular season. But we want to make sure we keep the end goal in sight and getting him to April, for that playoff run, the right way."
Vogel said despite the high expectations, he is prepared for whatever this season may bring.
"We have the pieces to compete for a championship. To have expectations that it's all going to come together immediately might be reaching a little bit," Vogel said. "I'm sure we’ll have some bumps in the road. But hopefully as these guys gel … we have a number of guys with terrific resumes, but they have to learn each other. And they'll have to learn each other quickly.
"Then we'll be in the mix for the regular season and positioning ourselves for a playoff run. You just never know how quickly that process is going to play out. So hopefully, whatever the regular season looks like, by the time you get into the playoffs you're gelling at the right time and playing your best basketball."
|FIBA World Cup 2019: MVP Rubio leads Spain to final glory|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Popovich blasts critics after USA finish seventh, Serbia take fifth|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Spain & Argentina set to play for gold medal|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Team USA to play for seventh place after loss to Serbia|
|Australia knock out Czechs to make history in Shanghai|
|FIBA World Cup holders United States stunned by France in quarter-final upset|
|Lakers´ Vogel explains approach to coaching LeBron & Davis|
|Sometimes I hate the NBA ´circus´ – Durant opens up on Thunder, Warriors exits|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Argentina see off Serbia, Rubio makes history as Spain progress|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Team USA beat Brazil to secure Olympic spot|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Team USA send Czech Republic through, champs face France next|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Giannis´ Greece dumped out despite victory|
|Spain hold off Serbia to set up Poland quarter-final at FIBA World Cup|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: USA advance, Canada make history|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: USA hold off Giannis´ Greece to reach quarter-finals|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Spain and Serbia reach quarter-finals|
|Hart calls out Lakers for handling of Davis trade|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: USA respond with dominant victory over Japan|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Giannis gets Greece through, USA thump Japan|
|Howard on Lakers return: The past doesn´t matter|
|Rockets sign Gordon to four-year contract extension|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Bogdanovic, Serbia in dominant form, hosts China dumped out|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: USA have work to do after Turkey thriller, says Popovich|
|FIBA World Cup Review: USA see off Turkey in overtime, Giannis fouls out in Greece loss|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: USA edge past Turkey in overtime|
|FIBA World Cup review: Hosts China downed by Poland, while Serbia storm into second round|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Donovan Mitchell leads USA to win over Czech Republic|
|USA begin FIBA World Cup defence in style, Australia down Canada|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Bogdanovic stars in Serbia win, Scola leads Argentina to victory|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Team USA three-peat, Boomers booming - Five talking points|
|USA´s World Cup youngsters will be marquee names, says Kobe Bryant|
|Don´t underestimate Kemba, Middleton and Team USA´s ´C-team´, warns Demond Greene|
|FIBA World Cup 2019: Team USA ready to learn from, play for ´legend´ Gregg Popovich|
|Kobe Bryant says ´nothin but love´ for Shaquille O´Neal|
|NBA champion Jeremy Lin to play in China with Beijing Ducks next season|
|Giannis misses Greece´s final World Cup warm-up with knee issue|
|Howard officially heading to Lakers after clearing waivers|
|Nets confirm Caris LeVert extension|
|Australia´s first victory over Team USA can be a building block - Mills|
|Kings coach Luke Walton cleared in sexual assault investigation|
|Timberwolves need Wiggins ´to be a main contributor´ – Rosas|
|Harden blames ´media narrative´ for Giannis winning MVP race|
|Trail Blazers´ Lillard on joining super team: What´s the fun in that?|
|Anthony Davis makes no mistake with first pitch at Dodger Stadium|
|Celtics´ Hayward wishes Irving ´the best of luck´ with Nets|
|Reddish tops Williamson in NBA rookies survey|
|Pacers have a ´chance to be really special´ next season – Oladipo|
|Spurs set jersey retirement date for Tony Parker|
|James Harden a better scorer than Michael Jordan – Rockets GM|
|Billionaire Joseph Tsai becomes sole owner of Nets|
|Los Angeles Lakers´ Cousins suffers ACL injury|
|LeBron wants to ´destroy as many people as possible´, says Jefferson|
|Team USA´s Lowry withdraws from World Cup|
|Knicks have a ´killer´ in Barrett, says Williamson|
|Celtics stars excited to play alongside new team-mate Walker|
|Holiday discusses Pelicans trading Davis to Lakers, drafting Zion|
|Middleton and Lopez wish Giannis the best, just not against Team USA at World Cup|
|Durant says ´nobody´ at Warriors pressured him to play in NBA Finals|
|Kyle Lowry ‘would love to do a long extension’ with Raptors|
|Wizards star Wall ´not willing to´ sit out season after Achilles injury|
|Draymond Green agrees to four-year, $100M extension with Warriors, agent says|
|Griffin clarifies LeBron comments, says they have ´positive relationship´|
|Tatum feels he played a ´big part´ in Walker joining Celtics|
|Thompson says Warriors´ dynasty is far from over|
|Fultz ´is a monster´ – Magic team-mate Gordon|
|CJ McCollum ´agrees three-year, $100m extension´ with Portland Trail Blazers|
|Zion Williamson wants to stay with the Pelicans for entire career|
|Lakers´ Davis: Not winning a title would be one of my biggest failures|
|Kanter reveals why he chose to sign with Celtics|
|Westbrook acknowledges need for ´sacrifice´ at Rockets|