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    Former Lakers coach Frank Vogel returns to Arena with ‘positive feelings’
    • October 27, 2023

    LOS ANGELES — The Lakers’ home opener against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night brought a familiar face back to the team’s home arena.

    Frank Vogel, the Lakers’ head coach from 2019-22, was back on the sidelines at Arena, but this time as the new head coach for the Suns, who hired him in June to replace now-Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams.

    “It’s great to see all the friendly faces and great to be back in this building,” Vogel said. “I have some great, great memories here. And became part of the Lakers’ championship legacy. Very fond memories here.”

    Vogel was hired by the Lakers in May 2019, replacing Luke Walton at the head of the bench.

    His tenure was met with immediate success, with Vogel leading the Lakers to the 2020 NBA title – the Lakers’ 17th NBA championship.

    Vogel was fired after the team finished 33-49 in the 2021-22 regular season – his lone losing season with the Lakers.

    He finished his Lakers tenure with a 127-98 record in the regular season, an 18-9 playoff record and the 2020 championship.

    “I got all positive feelings,” Vogel said. “I’m grateful that they had me as their coach. The opportunity for them to hire me and give me the opportunity to (coach) their great players, this great franchise, that’s really the only thing that I’m carrying with me. The ability to become part of this incredible championship legacy is something that I’m very, very proud of – very, very prideful in. And I just have warm memories when I think of the Lakers.”


    The iconic downtown mural of deceased Lakers great Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, just a few blocks away from Arena will stay put for at least another year.

    2K, the video game publisher, announced on Thursday that it reached an agreement to save the mural on the wall of the downtown Los Angeles Hardcore Fitness (400 W. Pico Blvd) that artist Sloe Motions painted in January 2020 after Kobe, Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash near Calabasas.

    The Kobe and Gianna Bryant mural will remain in Downtown Los Angeles, for at least another year, after an agreement was made between NBA 2K and the landlord.

    Thank you to the 90,000+ people who signed the petition to save this landmark in DTLA.

    — Kobe & Gianna Bryant Murals (@kobemurals) October 24, 2023

    The mural was expected to be removed at the end of the year with the intent of turning the wall into advertising space, but the 2K team intervened and agreed to a one-year extension with the property owner.

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    “We know how much this beloved mural means to Los Angeles residents and the global basketball community at large,” Ronnie Singh, Head of Lifestyle & Content Marketing at 2K, said in a statement. “When we learned it was in danger of being removed, we worked together with the building to preserve the art. At 2K, we will always do our best to honor Kobe, Gianna and the Bryant family and help create spaces, both virtual and in real life, whether it be Kobe as our NBA 2K24 cover athlete or a local mural, so basketball fans across the globe can pay their respects to one of the best to ever do it.”


    Forward Cam Reddish was available against the Suns after being listed as probable because of right foot soreness.

    Forward Jarred Vanderbilt (left heel soreness) and rookie guard Jalen Hood-Schifino (right patella contusion) weren’t available for the second consecutive game after missing Tuesday’s season-opening loss to the Denver Nuggets.

    Hood-Schifino will be re-evaluated by team doctors on Nov. 3, the Lakers said, meaning he’ll likely miss at least the first five games.

    Lakers coach Darvin Ham said on Thursday that the team is evaluating Vanderbilt.

    “We’re still going through the evaluation process and making sure we cross our t’s and dot our i’s,” Ham said. “Being that it’s early in the season, it’s no need to rush the process. So we’ll update you accordingly.”

    ​ Orange County Register