"I haven't been told sh*t, and I'm going to enjoy tonight's game, celebrate what these young guys did in terms of scratching and clawing and getting back in this game and getting a W, and we'll deal with tomorrow," Frank Vogel said after the last game of the Lakers season.
As if the past 173 days weren't dramatic enough, the Lakers' season ended on a comical and ironic note. After a spirited comeback victory (146-141) led by rookie Austin Reaves and Malik Monk against the Nikola Jokic-less Denver Nuggets, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski published a tweet about Frank Vogel's dismissal as soon as the final buzzer rang.
Call it unprofessional or untimely, but this was one hell of a rude and unforeseen way to say goodbye to a coach that led a team to a championship just 18 months ago.
Vogel, who usually carries himself with pure class and professionalism, looked lost and out of words as he did his best to stay composed during his last post-game interview as a head coach.
Instead, the defensive-minded coach turned the spotlight to Reaves and Monk, who rightfully deserved praise for their best career performances.
"I'm going to enjoy this game, what our guys did tonight. I'm proud of what our guys did tonight," Vogel, whose post-game audio was first suspiciously on mute, said.
An atrocious look for the Lakers front office
Woj's tweet might have ruined Vogel's night, but at the end of the day, the Lakers' front office, spearheaded by Rob Pelinka, Kurt Rambis, and Jeanie Buss, deserved the blame for this mess.
Nobody in the world (besides Woj, obviously) knows who leaked this information and gave the green light to the insider, but dismissing a championship coach moments after the last game of the season is a terrible look for the organization.
Unfortunately for Reaves and Monk, the duo from Arkansas had to be the ones to address the drama post-game.
"I love the man [Vogel]. He gave me a chance. This was the only team that called me in the offseason and gave me a chance. I have nothing bad to say about him. All praise goes to him. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have a chance to play basketball," said Monk, who scored 41 points on Sunday and was one of the few bright spots for the Lakers this season.
Reaves, who had himself a game after putting up a triple-double of 31 points, 10 assists, 16 rebounds, plus the game-tying shot that sent the match to overtime, became the fifth Lakers rookie to record a triple-double joining Lonzo Ball, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor on the prestigious list.
Raves, the undrafted signee, also became the seventh rookie in NBA history to tally 25+ points, 15+ rebounds, and 10+ assists in a single game.
But sadly, the night wasn't about Reaves and Monk's spectacular performance. All eyes and ears were on Vogel as he deals with his reported departure in the next few days.
A fitting end to a historical disaster of a season
The Lakers end their worst contending season in franchise history with a record of (33-49) as they miss the playoffs for the seventh time in nine years. A lot of blame will go around the organization for this historic disaster of the year, from LeBron James and Anthony Davis (who both recruited Russell Westbrook) to the incompetence of the front office and ownership.
Instead of celebrating one of if not their happiest moment of the season, the Lakers ended the year falling in the most spectacular, dramatic, comical, and flashiest way.
From the reported firing of their championship coach to all the finger-pointing ongoing in the organization right now, all Lakers fans have to say is, "Thank God, this season is mercifully over."
But little do they know that this is only the appetizer for the drama that's about to come.