Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas recently put Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on blast for the job he did in the 2020 NBA Finals.
It’s an odd argument given the fact that the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in that series in six games. However, Arenas claimed the Lakers should have defeated the Heat in more dominant fashion.
“When he won the championship, I said it,” Arenas said. “I give him, what, a ‘C?’ A ‘C’ at best, right? Because you were supposed to win that championship. There was no way you were gonna lose that championship. You couldn’t lose! So I’m judging you on how you actually played the game.
“How did you play? You were playing against Miami. Let’s just be honest here, Miami Jimmy Butler, top 20 player that year. Bam [Adebayo]? Maybe he breaks 50. Everyone else? Not even in the hundred, right? They’re not below 100. Well, if your matchup against those guys is guys who’s not even in the 300s, then those guys have an advantage over you.
“So, those two guards, you got Duncan [Robinson] and [Tyler] Herro, as a freshman, as a rookie, they’re outscoring you by 30-something between those two against your guards. Someone has to make that up. That makes more pressure on LeBron [James] and A.D. (Anthony Davis).”
It’s an interesting argument and not one NBA fans see very often. Once an NBA head coach wins a title, it stands to reason that he should receive nothing but praise for how he led his team in that season.
It is also odd to see Arenas undermine the Heat’s players while discussing their impressive 2020 run in the playoffs.
During the Heat’s run in the NBA bubble, Butler was playing like a top-tier star in the NBA. He logged triple-doubles twice in the NBA Finals and was one assist away from logging another triple-double in Game 4.
As for Adebayo, he arguably became a household name during that playoff run. He dominated on the defensive side of the ball in many games, and he showed glimpses of his offensive ability as well.
All in all, Arenas made a few interesting points. However, it certainly seems like his argument has some holes.
Meanwhile, the Heat look like far more realistic NBA Finals contenders than the Lakers do this season. While the Lakers are limping through the 2021-22 campaign with a 23-24 record, the Heat currently sit atop the Eastern Conference with a record of 30-17.