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Lakers' General Manager Mitch Kupchak says there's "no timetable" for coaching search

With a cold and glaring stare, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak sat in American Airlines Arena witnessing the quick unraveling of the defending champions.

The Lakers were only minutes away from a four-game sweep in the Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks. Lakers forward Lamar Odom and center Andrew Bynum each earned separate ejections for forearm shoves that only added to the embarrassment. And the telecast focused in on Kupchak's clear disappointment, setting up what surely would be a busy week.

Kupchak greeted a large media contingent Wednesday with polite greetings before revealing his disappointment he'd rather have conducted an exit interview six weeks later, the presumed timetable for when the Lakers would come off a three-peat. Instead, Kupchak had to move that schedule earlier, with player exit interviews marking just the beginning of what will be a long offseason. As Lakers forward Luke Walton said, "He's definitely trying to get to the bottom of why this happened."

Amid those conversations and his own observations, Kupchak would only share that there's "not one thing we can point to" that led to the Lakers' unraveling. He cited the heavy basketball mileage the team accumulated through three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and unspecified "distractions." He noticed the Lakers inconsistently executed the triangle correctly. And his dissatisfaction with the team's play mostly applied to everyone on the roster: "I’m not sure anybody with the exception to Lamar had a really great season," Kupchak said in reference to Odom winning the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award.

But one theme emerged from the exit interviews that helped Kupchak determine how he'll address the upcoming offseason. The players' all argued in some semblance what Kobe Bryant laid out Wednesday to reporters: "In terms of this being the decline of the Lakers, this is nonsense. I remember they had a pretty good era in the '80s and they didn't win three in a row. They didn't break that team up ... Do I believe we can come back and win it again? I absolutely believe that. If this team came back as is, I believe we can win."

It remains to be seen what exactly what will happen, but Kupchak clearly didn't jibe with Magic Johnson's thinking that Lakers owner Jerry Buss needs to "blow this team up."

"With the core players we have intact, we do think we can continue to contend," Kupchak said. "We may have to look to improve in certain areas, but once again that’s not something we sat down and discussed yet."

In what he envisions happening in the "next couple of weeks," Kupchak plans to meet with Dr. Buss and executive Jim Buss to discuss a number of issues. The first pressing topic entails who they will pick as head coach to succeed Phil Jackson, who made it clear he's retiring even if he didn't submit a form of resignation. Kupchak said there's "no timetable" for the coaching search, offered no list of candidates beyond acknowledging "one or two" members of Jackson's coaching staff would be considered (Brian Shaw, Chuck Person) and didn't reveal his hand on whether he prefers the triangle to remain or to return to the "Showtime Era." (The Times' Broderick Turner has a more extensive list on who the candidates are, including Rick Adelman, Byron Scott, Doc Rivers, Kurt Rambis, Jeff Van Gundy, Larry Brown, Mike Krzyzewski, Jerry Sloan and Shaw, whom plenty of players endorsed).

Interestingly enough, Jackson didn't want to appear to meddle in the coaching search and declined to tout Shaw's credentials, though he stated at training camp he hoped the Lakers would hire someone from his coaching staff to replace him. He was willing to outline, however, what the team's lacking. 

"It's still a good team. It needs to have some speed," said Jackson. "They need to get some easy baskets."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Comments () | Archives (65)

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We need scoring from the point position to win. It's very easy for teams to pack the middle (what is illegal defense anyway?)unless there is a perimeter threat. If Fisher, Brown, or Blake could hit an outside shot with any consistency, we would be fine. Dallas won the series because they had players you could not leave open. Gasol, Lamar, and Ron need to work on their outside games as well. Bynum with room to work, can dominate inside.

One Word:


Everything hinges on Gasol coming back to his championship form. If he's unable to do that, then we're totally effed.

I trust Kobe can come back, although I would have rather heard he's getting those fingers repaired... but he'll do everything he can to stay on top as long as humanly possible. Therefore, as usual, not worried about him.

It's the other guys.

What is Blake going to do so that he can fill the void Farmar left us?... hmm. What is Brown going to do so that his shot can actually go into the basket a little more often? Will Fisher volunteer to come off the bench, or are we stuck with him as a starter until he's 50?

These are the questions I wish I knew the answer to

C'mon do you really think Mitch or the other Laker FO will openly discuss any ongoing negotiations??? Get real. Of course, that is what he will say during these 'press conferences'.

They will just announce the real thing when everything is signed, sealed and delivered.

Doc and Van Gundy would be at the top of my list. I simply don't know enough about Shaw as a coach to know where to put him. He has done amazing things in the face of tragedy I do know that, but not enough about his coaching chops.

But that is Mitch's job not mine.

Rick Adelman: coached several contenders and never won
Byron Scott: love him, but not as coach of the Lakers
Doc Rivers: serioulsy? Liked him as a player, but without TT, his coaching sucks. Besides, we'd never hear the end of it
Kurt Rambis: maybe. He wasn't a total train wreck last time and he's come a long ways since then
Jeff Van Gundy: Um... no
Larry Brown: if you want a guy for a year, possibly two, Larry Brown is it
Mike Krzyzewski: wont take the job; lacks NBA experience
Jerry Sloan: opposite of Kryzewski. A solid way to achieve middle of the pack status
and Shaw: obviously the most logical choice given his current tenure.

The Snake

yeah they're worse than politicians sometimes

I have confidence that the Lakers will do what needs to be done this off-season. I'm excited to see what moves they make.

1. Everyone knew the Lakers would have to pound the ball inside to take advantage of their size.

The Lakers didn't pound the ball inside.

2. Everyone knew the Lakers would have to play solid, energetic team defense.

The Lakers didn't play defense.

3. Everyone knew the Lakers would have to play tough and physical to intimidate opponents and not let them grow confident.

The Lakers didn't play physical and consistently let players penetrate without consequence.

This isn't rocket science.

This isn't some grand mystery of life.

The Lakers played lazy, stupid and without heart... so we got humiliated as a result.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Mitch going cuckoo for cocoa puffs!!!

But I'm sure he's lying through his teeth and he knows it.. I mean what's he supposed to say attention fellow GMs pau choked and is now trade bait!!

But hard for me to hold mitch in high regard at the moment.. Perhaps its time for mitch to LOOK IN THE MIRROR.. Here's a man who's GM legacy so far is defined by the pau/kwame trade (who btw most of that credit should go to west) Where would mitch be today without that jerry west gift?? Out of the Nba?? Does anybody want to even take a look at his horrific DRAFT HISTORY??

This offseason may be the make it or break it moment of his career... THE DOODOO HAS HIT THE FAN MITCH... Let's see you earn that paycheck and see what you're made of...

You can start by getting rid of that triangle thingy so you can stop drafting triangle specialty players like LUKE for christs sake!

Abolish the triangle!
Say no to shaw!
Trade the 20MIL TINMAN!!

Posted by: Practice Season Police

When exactly are we going back to instapost? This moderation thing sucks, can't carry on a conversation with the eminent members of this blog.

Funny thing is that 90% of the people that manipulated MM into this crazy moderation have bailed on us and now have their little 15 member rogue chat while we get to suffer for their "sensitivity".


Right on PSP, there's just no flow to this blog, that and the fact we get thread after thread just ruins any continuity.
and I wouldn't doubt for a second that one of their members is the one hijacking handles either, they just seem to be so bitter.MM has really dropped the ball here.
One more thing, 15 members? you're being a little too gernerous with your headcount.
One last thing I do notice, when someone from over there makes an appearance on this blog at least the loyals here are not giving them much attention. As it should be.

Another last thing, isn't it interesting with the Edwin and Ouuchhh feud that MM gives Edwin a RCOD award? Edwin just tears into MM. I believe there are alterior motives involves. lol

For the most part the shooters who were open gave up the ball to their teammates too easily. Their first inclination should have been to shoot the ball. When covered, pass. It's that simple. Just look at how many times Artest gave up an open shot. And when he did shoot it usually wasn't very good.

@Tim-4-show... If our championship hopes hinges on one weak fragile mind and another weak fragile knee then I don't think I like our chances very much.

Quoting John McEnroe,"you can't be serious". Go back and look at the last 4 games. Dr. Buss is smarter than this.

I look for big changes, or lots of ticket redemptions. Prices aren't coming down.

Larry Brown should be the guy by far. He hasn't had a decent roster since the overachieving Pistons team won a title, and nearly two. He even got the Bobcats to the playoffs last season, and his career accomplishments are pretty remarkable.

I think he'd relish the chance to work with the Lakers roster, and the fact that many people seem to think the run with this team is over. He makes mediocre players better, so imagine what he could do with a team with talent.

He's still in good shape himself, and I believe he could coach another 3 years or so easily. At that time, this group would definitely be done one way or the other. Age should not be a factor. His Mom's 102 after all. Do the smart thing and bring in LB.

Kurt Rambis: maybe. He wasn't a total train wreck last time and he's come a long ways since then
Jeff Van Gundy: Um... no
Larry Brown: if you want a guy for a year, possibly two, Larry Brown is it
Mike Krzyzewski: wont take the job; lacks NBA experience
Jerry Sloan: opposite of Kryzewski. A solid way to achieve middle of the pack status
and Shaw: obviously the most logical choice given his current tenure.

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | May 12, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Adelman - no beef here
Doc - said last night he's leaning toward returning to the Celtics. And he reiterated that he's a Celtic
Byron - agree
Rambis - uh yeah...he was a train wreck here in 99. Plus, I'm still scratching my head on his dealing with KLove in Minny.
Van Gundy - if you like slow down grind it out bball
Larry Brown - Great coach...but the ultimate micro manager.
Jerry Sloan - don't know what the fascination with him is. He quit mid-season last year and said he didn't have the necessary energy.
BShaw - still my top choice

The Cowardly Lion

Mitch needs to becaome The Wizard of Oz


Troll Man's identity has been hijacked at May 12, 2011 at 11:01 AM

But you know what, I don't care, bloggers know my style and my takes.

Hey, hacker, what do you want me to do? Cry to MM? not going to happen.
Hey hacker, do you feel empowered?
Hey hacker, I fart in your general direction even though that is against
Commandment #15
15. Thou shall never fart in the general direction of another blogger. Only Trolls think it reaches.

Only in Laker Nation can you win back 2 back championships….go to 3 finals in 4years and have fans bash…the GM that assembled the team, the Superstar/#4 in MVP voting and the All-Star big man.

I understand a certain level of criticism for each. That’s what happens when you don’t win the ultimate prize. I understand Pau taking heavy criticism…that what happens when you play so far below expectations, but I don’t get some of the comments that I that I consider more “hateful” than criticism…but hey that’s just me!


re: I don't necessarily think that the inside-out strategy was a wrong one. But the execution broke down. That doesn't discredit the strategy, which called for an equitable distribution of shots among Bigs early and Kobe late. It was the football equivalent of using the run early to set up the pass late.

It was a strategy Phil employed with the Bulls during their title runs. The Bulls often went inside first, with Jordan as distributor early on. Once they were able to build a lead with execution and defense, it was up to Jordan to hold it.

LA's execution simply broke down. Pau didn't have it. Bynum actually played fairly well. That affected Kobe's productivity, because he was forced into action early, drawing the defense to him, making him less effective and LA less competitive late.

my response:

I think we're having a terminology issue. Let's address it.

I don't disagree with the principle of passing the ball into the inside, in order
to draw in the defense, so that you can pass the ball out to an open shooter.

I disagree with the principle of not using Kobe as a threat first. The "basketball"
reasoning is as follows:

If Kobe is not a threat to score, I have to contend with

the scoring of Pau, Artest, Bynum & D-Fish.

Would you look at that lineup for 60 secs and consider their "game" ?

Which one of these players demands a double-team?

Which one of these players is going to drop 35+ pts on you?

Right. None of them. Therefore, I play solid defense on them and the
Lakers are scoring less than a 90 yr. old bachelor.

Now. Imagine Kobe averaging 25+ pts a game and having two 35+ pt
games in the last 6 weeks. Are you going to double-team Kobe?
Are you going to triple-team Kobe? And ... voila.

Once Kobe is a threat, there is more room to pass, cut and inside-out
basketball works much better.

Does that make sense to you?

Yes. Keeping the core intact can do it. But a little tinkering with the core could also do it. A fantasy of many a Lakers fan would be a straight up trade, Bynum for Dwight Howard. Impossible? Not necessarily. There is precedence for super star players to sacrifice salary to win a championship. How much would it be worth for Kobe to get his 6th ring? Answer: priceless. For those who would ditch Fisher, try this. Fisher is invaluable for team chemistry and emotional stability for Kobe. Make him a player-coach. Slight salary reduction but Fish would stay as he bleeds purple and gold. The other scenario is going after one of the few elite point guards. You know who they are. This would definitely break up the core. Who do you trade? Tough call. Lamar may be the most uniquely gifted all-star in the NBA with near Magic Johnson versatility. Dump the reality show or you're traded. Gotta keep Pau who will spend the off season taking Black Swan lessons. Artest? Not sure you can teach hops. Is there a point guard on the international circuit we can steal? Tony Parker was a revelation on that front.

Although Mr. Hacker Man

I do like Howard he is very athletic

Lakers already in discussions with Orlando that would send Superman here for Gasol, Artest, two first round picks and both players from last years draft, plus cash. ESPN is also reporting.

Posted by: Troll Man

Gasol, Artest, Ebanks and Caracter and 2 picks, + cash?

Then you have Bynum and Howard as centers?

Also, that trade doesn't make sense and it doesn't work, (, salaries don't line up, too much for the Magic, not enough for the Lakers.

For the regulars to post here more often, LA Times has to moderate the outcome of Lakers games. When the Lakers are winning, everyone is happy and there is no talk of moderation. When they are losing, a lot of the regulars don't want to talk about the Lakers anymore and they blame the trolls for it.

@Lrob.. My apologies for being a bit riled up these days.. I'm afraid i may still be in the middle of the emotional stages of recovery... See below

Confusion (done)
denial (done)
Anger (done)
Depression (not done)
Acceptance (not even close)

but I aint changing my opinion on the tinman... You can count on that!!

Hey all. This one doesn't hurt as much as other losses, like the '08 loss to the C's, the loss to the Pistons in '04, that loss to the Suns in '06 after being up 3-1. Nope, this was a clean kill-shot by the Mavs. They offed us quicker than those SEALS took out Osama, if one is going to lose, might as well lose this way and not get your guts slowly torn out.

The series hinged on game-1. Had we closed the deal on that one, it would have been a completely different series.

I'm more inline with Magic and his comments that the team has gotta be blown-up rather than simply tweaked. I also fully agree with Phil in that they gotta get some quickness.

Personally, I'd rather see them target Chris Paul instead of Dwight Howard, we already have a big that is looking to become even better than Howard. He's tougher, too. If the Lakers could do a Pau-for-CP3 trade, include another body or two to make it work, maybe a draft pick to clinch it - that would be the way to go.

Anyone have a time machine so we can get Carmelo again?

Oh well, this should be a busier off-season than we've seen in a few years. I just hope Mitch targets a point and a shooter or two.

But, please, now that the Lakers are out of it and the C's are too - someone, anyone TAKE DOWN THE HEAT!


hobbit: "Lakers are scoring less than a 90 yr. old bachelor" - That's classic...

Hello my laker friends. One thought after last night's game in Miami: LeBron never tries to emulate MJ on the court.

It's nice to have some superstars who won't go through that "next MJ" thing.

Lakers already in discussions with Orlando that would send Superman here for Gasol, Artest, two first round picks and both players from last years draft, plus cash. ESPN is also reporting.

Posted by: Troll Man

Gasol, Artest, Ebanks and Caracter and 2 picks, + cash?

Then you have Bynum and Howard as centers?

Also, that trade doesn't make sense and it doesn't work, (, salaries don't line up, too much for the Magic, not enough for the Lakers.

Posted by: Art | May 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Yeah, that and the Magic would be looking to get rid of Arenas contract just about as badly as getting something of value for Dwight.

It'll be as if Dwight and Arenas are locked at the hip as far as any move the Magic would make.


Lakers already in discussions with Orlando that would send Superman here for Gasol, Artest, two first round picks and both players from last years draft, plus cash. ESPN is also reporting.

Posted by: Troll Man

Gasol, Artest, Ebanks and Caracter and 2 picks, + cash?

Then you have Bynum and Howard as centers?

Also, that trade doesn't make sense and it doesn't work, (, salaries don't line up, too much for the Magic, not enough for the Lakers.

Posted by: Art | May 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM


qft. and despite his performance lately, artest is probably the one guy i wouldn't give up. when he's locked in, he's locked in.

i'd do bynum + ebanks + caracter + draft picks + cash. not sure on salaries tho.

i believe pau will revert back to form, and possibly even better.

no comment on coaching. there are so many different coaches, players, systems and their variations that can go on. defer to lal management.

Anyone have a time machine so we can get Carmelo again?

Posted by: CyberCosmiX

Think he would have helped much?
It seemed most of the blog at the time thought this was a lousy trade idea.
I can only imagine what having another scorer would have done for the Lakers.
Try and double inside or double Kobe and have a guy like Melo to pass to.
I think at the time it was said we would be like Miami West.

If only...

I was talking with someone recently in regards to the coaching change of the lakers. I regard this person's opinion very highly. I wanted to hear their opinion in regards to Brian Shaw before I disclosed mine. The most interesting point is this person said some of the same reasons why I feel MR Shaw would be a great coach. I know this will and should be a long well thought out process, but I'm reminded of the old saying "everything you need usually can be found in your own home. You just have to be able to perceive it in order to receive it. Isaiah 45:3

Who is going to take on these awful players and their horrible contracts:
Artest: $6.8M, $7.3M, $7.7M
Walton: $5.7M, $6.1M
Blake: $4M, $4M, $4M
Fisher: $3.4M, $3.4M
These guys all STINK and have contracts that NOBODY wants.

Speaking of Carmelo

there were a lot people saying there was no way two ballhogs could exist on the same team and have positive results.

Well, seems to be working in Miami doesn't it?

A few more post-mortem observations.

1) I disagree with Phil that the only thing this team needs is "speed." First of all, "team quickness" not "team speed" is more critical (and if you've ever played, you know the crucial difference). Being able to get to spots, cut off passing lanes, front guards from penetrating, etc., are examples of quickness. We don't have it. Period. NONE of our current team has it (only Kobe had it, and hopefully once he rests and rehabs, maybe he'll have it again, but that's not a given any more).

2) The team showed a shocking lack of "champion's pride." I can understand the lack of hunger after 3 trips to the finals, but I can't understand the lack of champion's pride. Once you're wearing that crown, you should never want to lose, whether it's in the NBA finals or just a pickup game on an outdoor asphalt court and ratty chain-link net. I just couldn't believe how this team repeatedly just laid down and let lousy teams punk them. How is that going to change with this group?

3) This team has no shooters. Nobody. Not even Kobe any more. Our "inside-out" game was/is "inside-none." Every coach we faced knew that and adjusted their defenses to take advantage of it. Formula: collapse in the middle, hammer Pau/Drew or push them out of their comfort zone, and let everyone else shoot bricks. How is that going to change with this group? And will getting just one shooter do it? The Mavs had at least 4 deadeye shooters.

4) I supported Phil, his triangle, and this particular group of players. I believe that's what loyal fans must do as long as our guys are still playing. But now that the season, and indeed this era, is over, I believe we need to reassess everything. They, we, all had a great run. Thank you, Phil, triangle, Mitch, Kobe, Pau, etc., etc. But speaking just for myself, I'm tired of the triangle and the slow-moving half-court set offense. I want to see Showtime again. Guys flying to the ball, quick cuts, sharp passes, perimeter swishes, fast break slams. Yeah, baby, THAT's Laker basketball. And if this means a different coach, a different system, and very different set of team members, so be it.

some of you are funny

responding to a post about a trade under my name that was hijacked that I pointed out.

It might help if you guys read all the posts not just the ones you can disclaim. lol

Byron - The best choice. Former Coach of the Year. Knows what it takes to win a championship as a player. Dr, Buss is going to have to come out of pocket to buy out his Cleveland contract. He made the Cavs show up & beat the Lakers after getting blown out by 50. He also has beaten Dallas in the playoffs.

Van Gundy - Experienced coach. He was the last coach to have the Knicks win.

Rambis - He hasn't done anything in Minn, and wouldn't even let KLove play. Is he going to bench Bynum?

Larry Brown - Great coach., but older, out of the game. Let's pass.

Jerry Sloan - He can't win the big one.

BShaw - Couldn't fix Gasol or any problem last year, so why would he all of a sudden be able to now? Pass.

Adelman - No Sactown retreads. Pass.

Doc Rivers - I'm ok with that, but he wants to watch his son play at Duke.

Coach K - No way he leaves Duke for the uncertainty of the Lakers.

Posted by: LRob | May 12

Where are all the Celtic trolls now?...LOL


You said it.
This team is sooo predictable.
Anyone who thinks this team, AS IS, will win the Finals next year is dreaming.

Two players I never wanted to see leave, Caron Butler and Trevor Ariza, both for their combination of decent size and athleticism. Kupchack better be kidding here.

Posted by: Tim-4-Shoiw | May 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Actually, that's pretty much how I feel, but it's not that strong of a feeling that I'd actually post it.

But maybe you can change your handle just a little more so that people don't get us confused.


Troll Man,

Not sure if your post about possible Gasol + Artest = DH is true or even if BSPN is really rumoring it or not.

But, speculation is what the off season is all about.

I'd have mixed feelings about this deal.
1. We get weaker defensively on the wing
2. We get stronger defensively in the middle
3. The middle becomes a black hole; Gasol's passing is a huge reason for the Lakers success the last three seasons
4. Duplication between Howard & Bynum?

Gasol and Bynum's game differ enough that they can work together; as I mentioned above, Gasol's passing game is very strong

But if the guy is just going to shut down, then this trade is a no-brainer

Dr. Buss,
Artest is very tradeable.
Blake is somewhat tradeable.

Fisher & Walton are Lakers for life; and not because we want it that way LOL

Do not trade Artest . That would be a huge mistake. Life is like this for a reason. Gasol has what it takes.

Who is going to take on these awful players and their horrible contracts:
Artest: $6.8M, $7.3M, $7.7M
Walton: $5.7M, $6.1M
Blake: $4M, $4M, $4M
Fisher: $3.4M, $3.4M
These guys all STINK and have contracts that NOBODY wants.
Posted by: Dr. Buss | May 12, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Then Dr. Buss you have to do the right thing and FIRE KUPCAKE. This guy don't care about your MONEY, and what was his evaluation grade this season....just sayin

The Heat in 5

Dude...the blog27 appeared to have went on VACATION, or maybe that 27 is only 10 with multiple handles. Can't take the HEAT, oh well.

I think due to the lockout shorten season- which everyone expects- the Lakers will have to hire Shaw. They won’t have time to learn a new system if the season is shorten. And if the Lakers want to win, it is now. Kobe isn’t getting any younger.

@Corner J
EXCELLENT POST! I agree with every word.

If we don't get at least two accurate shooters this summer, our off season will be disasterous. Even if we can swap Bynum or Pau for Howard, we are still left without a decent long range specialist, or any athletic defensive players who can make it over to wide open shooters.

Lakers shot 19% from 3-point range in the Dallas series. The Mavs shot 46%. This obscene discrepancy must be addressed in the off-season. When Mitch says that no valuable deals came across his desk during the season HE'S FULL OF DOG DOO DOO.

Peja Stojakavic wanted to come to the Lakers. Mitch and Jim Buss passed. Peja KILLED us in the playoffs. As someone who follows the Yankees here in New York, I remember the Boss always picking up ballplayers in mid-season to keep them away from the Red Sox. The Lakers should've picked up Peja -- not only to keep him away from other Western Conference contenders, but because their 3-point shooting throughout the season was abjectly horrible!

MITCH deserves an F, not only for passing on Peja, but signing worthless antiques like Ratcliff. The Lakers needed a 3-point shooter, even my blind granny could've seen this blatant void! Back in midseason 2008, the Celtics picked up PJ Brown, who was enormously successful against Gasol, pushing him around like a rag doll. Mitch picked up Ira Newble. Case closed. Moreover, instead of Matt Barnes, why couldn't Mitch go after Tony Allen last year, a really great defender with a nose for the ball. Who cares if he's a former Celtic. And he was cheap as well. He could've done a great job on Peja or Terry on the perimeter.

Bresnahan says the pecking order in choosing a coach goes in this order:

1. Jim Buss
2. Jerry Buss
3. Mitch Kupchak

NBA sources say that the Lakers are "very interested" in Adleman.

the only way to for the Lakers to win is to make a major player change.
we need players who can score.
I like how people compare the team of last year to the one of this year.
But Farmar and Sacha would bring speed, energy and occasionally 10-20 points in a few min. when we were down by 10-15 points and take the lead.
Blake and Barnes are slow, not exiting and def not scorers. Not once this year they could come back from a deficit.
If Fish and Artest will stay, you def need a young, fast, energetic bench that can score (3-pointers) on a good day. and bring you back in the game.
Nobody would trust the bench this year to do so.
They let Mbenga go, (def not the best player in the world) but who did they bring instead of him?? At least he could make a block shot here and there and bring some energy too.
When they traded all these players, I was exited to see who would come and thought they would bring better players to compete against so many good teams that traded well this year and become quite stronger.
You can't expect the Black Mamba to do it by himself!
This is not tennis, it's a team sport, and you need a good team to compete.
As a huge fan of the Lakers, I didn't miss any game this season,
I don't have to tell how disappointed I was about the trades they made.
(Joe Smith, Ratliff or whatever etc. did anyone see them play? it's more like Veteran's club)
I was still hoping for a third championship in a row, but deepside I knew this team was far away to accomplish it.

Let's hope they learned there lesson for next year


>>>1. Everyone knew the Lakers would have to pound the ball inside to take
>>>advantage of their size.
>>>The Lakers didn't pound the ball inside.

Well, yes and no. Part of the problem is that both Gasol and to a lesser extent Bynum let the Dallas bigs PUSH THEM OUT off the block. Phil even commented on it and got fined.

If Pau can't keep his butt inside, then you can't pound the ball to him inside.

And then when they did get it to him, he shot 42%.

FOURTY TWO PERCENT!!! From a big. Piss poor.

Stop trying to make this about Pau and Drew not "getting touches". They got touches. But against bigs that matched them on size, they either passed back out or bricked more often than they usually do.

It's not the ONLY reason the Lakers lost the series, but it's a big one. Probably second only to poor bench play.

>>>2. Everyone knew the Lakers would have to play solid, energetic team defense.
>>>The Lakers didn't play defense.

Totally agree with you. The joke right now should be:

Q: What's the difference between Dallas and Los Angeles?

A: There is no "D" in Los Angeles

>>>Hello my laker friends. One thought after last night's game in Miami: LeBron
>>>never tries to emulate MJ on the court.

Of course not... Why would he want to emulate that old fossil...

LeBron tries to emulate Kobe.

I remember the first time Kobe did that up and under move, in his 61 point game in New York. The next night, LeBronze tried to do the same move and bricked the shot.

>>>Who is going to take on these awful players and their horrible contracts:

Alright, let's talk some wheeling and dealing...

>>>Artest: $6.8M, $7.3M, $7.7M

You underestimate Artest - he still has value as a very good defender, who has some offensive skills when he's not in a system like the triangle. He averaged 17 points a game for the last team where he wasn't the 5th option on the team. AND he's now winning good citizenship awards. Still lots of value there.

>>>Walton: $5.7M, $6.1M

VERRRRY tough sell. Only way I could see him getting traded before February of 2013 is if they traded him to a team that wanted to cut cap space for somebody who's contract was even longer. Or possibly as filler in a trade involving Bynum or Gasol. Remember - the Lakers took back Bryan Grant in a trade, who makes twice as much as Luke and produced less for the Lakers.

But if you're looking for a 1-for-1 trade, it just ain't likely.

>>>Blake: $4M, $4M, $4M

Actually a fairly reasonable price for a backup PG. They don't come cheap. There won't be a lot of takers, but it might be possible. He'd be very easy to include as a piece in a deal with Pau or Drew or Lamar, as he's at least functional.

>>>Fisher: $3.4M, $3.4M

The second year is a player option. So the out for Fish could be if there was an okey-doke deal where the Lakers traded him off to some team and then he agreed to opt out of the last year and the team bought him out and then he came back to the Lakers for one last season on the bench before becoming an assistant coach. Not impossible.

>>>These guys all STINK and have contracts that NOBODY wants.

More or less true. But that could be said for 1/4 of the players in the league.

>>>MITCH deserves an F, not only for passing on Peja, but signing worthless
>>>antiques ...

blah blah blah...

For THIS SEASON, I'd say Mitch deserves a C- or maybe a D. But it may not entirely be his fault. If Phil said he wasn't going to start Farmar and Farmar said he was leaving to get more PT, how is that Mitch's fault? If Buss told him to dump Sasha so he could save money, how is that Mitch's fault?

But there were other players or trades that might have worked out. Who knows, maybe Bynum for Carmelo would have kept the Lakers in the playoffs. Maybe THEY could have traded to get Marcus Thornton instead of New Orleans getting him. Maybe Mitch could have pulled off a Bynum for Deron Williams deal. Maybe Luke Ridnour instead of Steve Blake would have made a difference. Or maybe he could have brought in some other player languishing on another team's bench that would excel for the Lakers (like Shannon Brown in 2009).

But bear in mind he had no cap room, the largest payroll in the league and an owner who was uneasy with that much expense. So it's not like the guy had enough cap space to bring in 3 max contract guys or anything like that.

So I'll give Mitch a C- for the season.

But at the same time, I'll give him an A for the last decade. He managed the team that won more championships and went to the finals more times in the last 10 years than any other GM. If they had 2 more rings for 2008 and 2011 it would be an A+ :-)

So a lot of people have been bagging on Mitch for not bringing in Peja Stojakovic, who kicked the Lakers ass in the Dallas series.

Let's address that specifically.

First - the Lakers already had Artest and Barnes (not to mention Luke), so they didn't have a lot of free minutes at SF. They probably felt they had the position covered. Last season, Artest+Luke was enough from that position to get them rings. So why mess with what just worked last season.

Second - before he joined Dallas, Peja hadn't exactly been playing great in awhile. He shot 40% for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and had been injured for most of the 2011 season. So it's not like you'd look at his recent record of play and say, "HEY!! That guy is going to shoot over 50% on 3-pointers in the playoffs! Let's hire him!" There was nothing to give you that vibe.

Third, were all of you screaming for Peja back BEFORE the trade deadline? I don't want to go back and look. But if you WEREN'T asking for Peja, then you're a bunch of hypocrites because you didn't see it coming any better than Mitch did.

Note that Mitch recently DID pick up a player like Peja mid-season. When the Lakers acquired Shannon Brown, he was languishing on the bench in Charlotte. Then in the 2009 playoffs, he shot the lights out on 3-pointers

So I'd say, you win some, you lose some.

Fortunately for us, the Lakers (and Mitch) win more than they lose.


>>>But hard for me to hold mitch in high regard at the moment.. Perhaps its
>>>time for mitch to LOOK IN THE MIRROR.. Here's a man who's GM legacy so
>>>far is defined by the pau/kwame trade (who btw most of that credit should
>>>go to west)

Time to defend Mitch some more...

1. Jerry West had absolutely nothing to do with the trade. He wasn't employed by Memphis at the time and was not involved in the negotiations at all.

2. Really? Pau is all Mitch brought in? Maybe you forgot about some of these players:

Gary Payton and Karl Malone for absolute peanuts. Didn't quite win a ring, due to Malone's injury, but came damn close. Mitch did that deal.

Lamar Odom - A staple on the team since he was brought in. Mitch brought him in. And re-signed him for a reasonable amount when he was trying to play the field for more money

Trevor Ariza - A KEY player in the 2009 championship team. Mitch got him for Brian Cook and Maurice Evans. Looking at what Marc Gasol is doing now, this trade was more of a steal than the Pau trade.

Ron Artest - a KEY player in the 2010 championship team. They might not have gotten past OKLAHOMA CITY without Ron-Ron's defense. Mitch brought him in when Ariza's agent tried to play hardball.

Jordan Farmar - a lesser, but important role player in both championship teams. Drafted by Mitch

Sasha Vujacic - ditto.

Shannon Brown - obtained for Vlad Rad & shot the lights out in the early part of the 2009 playoff run. Not as big a steal as the Pau deal, but Shannon is a much more valuable player than Radmanovic was.

(and if you don't believe that Jordan and Sasha made meaningful contributions to the team, I suggest you compare the Lakers performance in their best years to this season with Blake and Barnes)

Luke Walton, Josh Powell and DJ Mbenga - a step below Farmar and Vujacic, but all made minor contributions here and there to the championships... more than Ratliff or Smith and certainly at least as much as Blake and Barnes so far.

And let's not forget that Mitch drafted Marc Gasol, who is currently still PLAYING in the playoffs while his brother bowed out.

How soon you forget. Mitch built this championship teams from the ground up. When Shaq demanded to be traded, they were left with basically Kobe, Lamar, and a bag of chips. He took some missteps with guys like Smush and Kwame, but eventually bagged the big chips (Pau, Ariza, Artest) and the smaller chips (Farmar, Vujacic, Walton, Brown, Powell, MBenga) that comprised a championship team.

So it's time for YOU to look in the mirror. You need to either recognize that Mitch made most of the NBA his bitch, or you're looking at a fool.

Posted by: CornerJ | May 12, 2011 at 12:23 PM


^^ what CornerJ said. the triangle got Kobe 5 Mj 6 so among these 2 hof'amers 11 rings. How much more interesting would it be for Kobe to get another one not running the triangle?

LongTimeLakerFan --

Please put down the pipe, I'm starting to think you're trying too hard.

LongTime writes, "So I'll give Mitch a C- for the season. But at the same time, I'll give him an A for the last decade. He managed the team that won more championships and went to the finals more times in the last 10 years than any other GM. If they had 2 more rings for 2008 and 2011 it would be an A+ :-)."

Firstly, "if they had two more rings for 2008 and 2011 it would be an A+." Dude, are you serious with this shiite???

IF...IF... Yeah, if I was 7 feet tall, I'd back up Andrew Bynum on the Lakers!

Second, "I'll give him an A for the last decade. He managed the team that won more championships and went to the finals more times in the last 10 years than any other GM."

Dude, the first 3 championships and the first part of the decade were all because of the FREAKING LOGO, okay? JERRY FREAKING WEST! He brought in Kobe, Shaq, Phil Jackson, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, Ron Harper, Brian Shaw, etc. even Glen Rice.

Kupcake's claim to fame was handing out obscene contracts to Wonder Boy Walton (and Devon George in 2002, when he could've signed Chauncey Billups in a sign and trade). Kupcakes got LUCKY with the Gasol trade, and I applaud him for that, but at the same time, it was a deal made with the LOGO's former team, Memphis -- I can't help believe that the LOGO had something to do with that transaction as well! Even if the freaking LOGO didn't have anything to do with bringing in Gasol, the trade is not all that fabulous in light of Marc Gasol's development.

Kupcakes traded Caron Butler for freaking Kwame Brown! Yes, Brown ended up being useful in the Gasol trade, but that doesn't take away from the ABSOLUTELY ASININE trade for Kwame in the first place! PATHETIC! Amateur bloggers on this very site wouldn't have made that deal! Kupcakes pulled the trigger on what is probably the worst trade in the history of the Lakers franchise... Kwame Brown for Carron Butler!

Kupcakes brought in Ira Newble in 2008, when the Celtics picked up PJ Brown, who kicked Gasol's arse in the Finals. Newble sat there on the bench working over his bubble gum!

Kupcakes gives away Sasha, cash and a first round pick in this year's draft, for what???? JOE SMITH!!! He passes up on Peja! Who kills us in the playoffs? Some Former dancing queen named Peja Stojakovic!!!

I can go on and on... so many horrible moves from 2001-2011. Anybody remember Isiah Rider? Brian Cook? Slavo? Ratcliff? The list is endless!

I can go on and on, and this wanna-be "LongTime" gives Kupcakes an "A" for the decade! And if Lakers had won in 2008 and 2011, he gives him an "A+"!!!

Yeah, and if I had double-D sized jugs, I'd be gracing the pages of playboy!

Honestly, we can't put as much blame on Mitch this time as we have in the past, why? Because 50~85.4% of Laker fans thought Steve Blake would have been a great asset, including me, because of his body of work, ignoring the fact that the chemistry would be altered irreparably. Because the Team was so many millions over the luxury tax, and guys like Sasha were getting paid handsomely, eventhough that trade yielded no dividends. Because Jordan Farmar had no role last year due to his impatience.. not entirely Mitch's fault. Sure we can blame a lot on Mitch because the worthlessness of the bench led to the core being tired-and disconnected throughout the season, and might have led to a heap of "trust issues" and off the court drama. Mitch could have done more but I am not, NOT convinced he couldn't have done more.. or less (by virtue of less is more). We all thought we were upgrading, I defended Jordan and Sasha and DJ Mbenga, but who would have thought we wouldn't have a bench down the stretch given Theo's history of lack of injuries, Steve Blake's untimely chickenpox infection (very--very ill advised, led to Fisher-Shannon taking a bulk of the minutes), and that Matt Barnes would have become a shell of his "Matt-Barnes-will-kill-you" scrappy self? Who would have thought that the Mavericks would have been such a horrible matchup for this Lakers team and drilled open 3, after open 3 in succession at a high % clip.

That's why I am calling for major changes specially if we change to an outside coaching scheme going forward. I give a lot of credit to Bynum for playing through injuries and manning up and Gasol being a solid rock over the past few years all around, but the hunger wasn't there, and if you can get Dwight the behemoth Howard you do it instantly, even if it means you take Gilbert Arenas and we lose a Steve Blake, a Lamar Odom, because he is just that good, eventually Mitch and company will begin to fill holes and get younger. Perhaps you get a replacement PG like Deron Will, or CP3, maybe not as much but you get other well-known guards that are currently starting in the league to replace Fish.

.....As people pointed out-- the triangle has become all too predictable, and if you get trounced in the 2nd round, it might be worth it to go another route, even if it doesn't mean you don't pick Brian Shaw or Jim Cleamons.

Rick Adelman is my early choice because he is a no-nonsense type and maybe he can take the team to the next level. I wouldn't take Byron only because he had some bogus situations, and he is too similar to others.

Jeff Van Gundy would be alright with me, if he really wanted to coach here.

Oh, I almost forgot SMUSH PARKER!

Great going, MITCH!

"Jerry West had absolutely nothing to do with the trade [for Pau Gasol]."


I'm starting to think you are Luke Walton!!!

Gary Payton???

Are you kidding me? The guy was a freaking bust in L.A.!!!

This from a guy, "LongTime," who a couple of days ago ACTUALLY congratulated LUKE WALTON on this site for all of his **contributions** to the Lakers!!!

Someone who actually takes the time and thought process to congratulate a scrub like LUKE FREAKING WALTON for his "contributions" to the Lakers DOESN'T KNOW SHIITE about NOTHIN"!!!


Take it to the bank!

Time for a reality check! I will go out on a limb and say our next coach will be Rick Adelman. Earlier posters have said he has yet to win the big one but he has helped Portland, Sacramento, and Houston ALL overachieve. These were all veteran teams that he had motivated and all played great defense. He was able to get the best out of Artest (not an easy task).

At the point we sign Adelman it would be a great gamble to sign Yao to a minimum contract. With his injury history he will not get any large offers. He would make up any lost wages with increased endorsements here in LA. Hell, I would take T-Mac as well for half the exception. Both played well for Adelman. What say you?

Lakers need 3pt shooters so they can spreed the floor out. The middle is so clogged to the point where the two 7 footers can't score easily.

get rid of Shannon brown, Luke Walton, and maybe Andrew Bynum because he don't seem to happy with his role Steve Blake is fine and we need a better PG than Derek Fisher. I mean Fish don't have to go but he can be the soul of voice for the Lakers and sit out and watch the team play we need a good PG and another SG that can score.



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