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Exit interview: Mitch Kupchak says current roster 'can continue to contend'

May 11, 2011 |  3:31 pm

Photo: Mitch Kupchak. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times. Among the highlights from Mitch Kupchak's exit interview:

Mitch Kupchak exit interview

-- He said there is no timetable on a coaching search: "We'll be taking our time making that decision. I have not met ownership yet, so that process hasn't really begun." He declined to specify whether a possible NBA lockout would affect the hiring process, but added, "We're probably not going to handle the hiring of our new coach this season any different than we would've done two, three or five years ago."

-- Kupchak said he doesn't have a "parameter" of what qualities the next coach should have, but acknowledged that unnamed members of Jackson's coaching staff are being considered (Brian Shaw, Chuck Person).

-- He said he will report to Jerry Buss and Jim Buss on basketball operations.

-- Kupchak noted parallels between the 2010-11 season and the 2002-03 season, when the Lakers lost in six games to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals, including a 110-82 Game 6 defeat. The Lakers returned to the NBA Finals the following season, though they fell in five games to the Detroit Pistons.

--On Andrew Bynum's ejection in Game 4: "We don't condone that type of activity and behavior. That's not how the Lakers should be represented. I don't want to belabor that. The player has addressed it and the NBA has addressed it. We'd like to move on right now."

-- On whether he regretted not making a trade leading up to the Feb. 18 deadline: "Our feeling was this group earned the right to fight this through to the end with this existing group. Maybe we could've tinkered somewhere. Certainly we didn't come across something that we didn't think was unnecessary to do. But they earned the right.... There was no deal that came across the table that could've changed the course of the outcome of the season."

On whether Lakers can win a title next season with the current roster: "I think the team can continue to contend."

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Mitch Kupchak. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.