LOS ANGELES - Just 15 months back from guiding the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Championship, coach Frank Vogel once again found himself answering questions about his job security Wednesday night.
"I do not feel like I'm under siege," Vogel said before the Lakers hosted the Indiana Pacers. "It's not hard to do my job; I'm very focused on the task. I've always been that way."
After a 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets at the weekend - which was LA's third straight loss at a time when the Lakers' defense allowed 125 points or more in all three defeats - Vogel's job was in jeopardy, according to various reports.
Had LA suffered a similar result in Monday's game against the Utah Jazz, the Lakers' front office could have felt compelled to remove Vogel from his post, sources told ESPN.
Instead, the Lakers beat the Jazz 101-95 in the team's most complete performance of the season. The Lakers held the league's No. 1 offense to just 37.3% shooting and shut down the No. 4 team in the Western Conference despite missing All-Star big man Anthony Davis (knee) and leading bench scorer Carmelo Anthony (back).
Vogel was able to push on, but he was asked on Wednesday about the flimsy time as he prepares to coach a Pacers team that came into the night after losing 10 of his previous 11.
"It really is not up to me whether it is fair or not," he said. "It comes with the territory, comes with being the Lakers coach. We have high expectations. This fan base really cares. It's a big market, and I would not want it any other way, to be honest with you. "I want people to worry, I want people to have the best and mastery of expertise out of our group. That's what we command ourselves; that's just the way it is."
It was the second time this season that Vogel asked questions about his job performance - a series of questions that were almost invited by the Lakers after only giving Vogel a one-year contract extension in the offseason. The lukewarm financial commitment came despite Vogel's coaching record in the playoffs, 18-9 (.667), placing him in third place in franchise history - only behind Pat Riley (.685) and Paul Westhead (.684) - and ahead of Phil Jackson (.652), which is number four.
Vogel said Wednesday that his interactions with the Lakers' front office - namely vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka as well as senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis - have been business as usual, even with LA's most recent games.
"I'm meeting with our front office," Vogel said. "We're talking about the previous night's match. Every match. All year. That's been the case for three years. And it's not been this week or too late."
Vogel characterized his relationship with the front office as "healthy" and said he has not received any specific feedback on his job performance since LA has started the season with an overwhelming 22-22 (0.500).
"Everyone is working together to leave no stone unturned in getting this going in the right direction," he said. "And we all have a great collaboration where we try to figure things out together. We won a championship this way and I feel good about our process."
Vogel said the investigation is part of the staffing of the sideline for a team filled with future Hall of Famers and expects another title run.
"In this industry and with this team, if you do not win at a super high level, you will get this type of noise," he said. "I'm good at blocking it. I'm fine with the job we do."
Vogel said the Lakers' defensive performance against the Jazz should be a lesson to his team on what it can accomplish when it brings the necessary focus to a match. He said he and his coaching staff will continue to adjust schematic concepts and lineups from game to game until Davis returns.
"I believe in what we can do this year," Vogel said, "so unwaveringly remain focused on the current task."