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LeBron's Lakers appoint new head coach, Warriors go into finals without Durant

Frank Vogel will be the man charged with helping LeBron James get back into the playoffs.

Image: Ringo Chiu

THE LA LAKERS last night announced that former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel had signed a multi-year contract to coach the glitzy NBA franchise.

The move surfaced in the wake of the Lakers being reportedly unable to agree terms with Tyronn Lue, a former coach of star player LeBron James while they were at the  Cleveland Cavaliers, as replacement for Luke Walton.

James joined the team as a free agent prior to last season after eight consecutive trips to the NBA Finals with Miami and Cleveland, a run that ended as this disjointed Lakers campaign could not earn a playoff place.

Vogel, 45, went 304-291 in eight seasons as an NBA coach, six with Indiana from 2010-2016 and the next two with a rebuilding Orlando Magic squad.

He led the Pacers to five playoff appearances and back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Orlando Magic Vogel as coach of the Magic in 2018. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

James’ home-town team the Cavaliers yesterday appointed John Beilein, a 41-year college basketball veteran, as their new coach.

In basketball matters closer to hand than next season, the Warriors will go into their Western finals series against the Portland Trailblazers without Kevin Durant.

Durant was averaging a league-best 34.2 points in the playoffs when he was injured in the third quarter of Golden State’s 104-99 victory over Houston in game five of their second-round series last Wednesday.

“Everyone needs to slow down a little bit on the Kevin stuff,” coach Steve Kerr said after the team trained yesterday.

NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Durant in full flow against the Rockets. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

“He hasn’t even stepped on the floor yet. We’ve tried to remain somewhat vague because the injury is open-ended in terms of how much time he will need to recover.”

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AFP

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