3 Takeaways from Frank Vogel’s Introductory Press Conference

On June 6, the Phoenix Suns officially named Frank Vogel as its 21st head coach in franchise history. A few things stood out at his introductory press conference, alongside President of Basketball Operations and General Manager James Jones.

Impact of the “Big Fella”

One area that Monty Williams failed in was repairing a relationship with Suns big man Deandre Ayton after a playoff benching in 2022. That issue lingered all season, and wasn’t addressed in another second round playoff exit.

Vogel mentioned “the big fella” a few times. Some may see that as Deandre Ayton. Others may see that as a term that’ll fit another center if Ayton is moved this offseason.

“It all starts with the big fella,” Vogel said when asked about his defensive scheme. “I’ve always had elite rim protectors. You can get the job done without that, but boy when you got a guy like that in front of the basket deterring everything that comes to the rim, you just get stronger.”

Ayton averaged 10 rebounds along with 0.8 blocks per game in the 2022-23 season. Once July comes around, there will likely be clarity on his future with the organization.

Calm confidence

No Suns head coach has ever won a title as a head coach prior to leading Phoenix. Vogel is the first after winning a title in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Say whatever you want about it being a “bubble” title, but Vogel maximized the talent on that roster especially on the defensive side of the ball. He carries himself with confidence that doesn’t reek of ego or a “my way or the highway” type of approach. Now he aims to bring the valley it’s first NBA championship.

“I think the first think I can apply is direct belief because I’ve done it,” Vogel said. “I know that if the talent is in place you can galvanize a group and take the league by storm.”

The roster construction in July will determine just how good this team can be. Devin Booker and Kevin Durant are a great start. The rest have to be waited out.

Don’t judge until May

This takeaway is less about what was said by Jones and Vogel. The move to release Williams and hire Vogel makes sense because a new voice can make a difference.

The win total in the regular season won’t matter, as long as the Suns make the postseason.

There will be a time in Decemeber when the Suns drop four of five or struggle to beat to bad teams. That’s going to be okay.

Don’t judge this hire and team on anything other than a playoff run that either flops or ends with a championship trophy.

It’s that simple.