PORTLAND, Ore. — Laker General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who was considered a top candidate for the New Jersey Nets' front-office vacancy, said in a statement Friday that he was happy to remain with the Lakers.
New Jersey, which requested and received permission to interview Kupchak, hired NBA executive Rod Thorn as the franchise's new president.
"As of this point, nothing has transpired in the past few weeks that would convince me that any other situation is better than the situation I have with the Lakers," Kupchak said in a statement.
Neither Kupchak nor the Lakers would confirm that he officially interviewed with the Nets.
Kupchak has been in the Laker front office since 1986, and the team's general manager since 1995.
Before Game 6, Coach Phil Jackson said that it wouldn't surprise him if Kobe Bryant's right foot injury sharpened Bryant's focus and produced a large performance Friday.
Bryant, who did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and did not participate in the team's Friday shoot-around, struggled in Game 5, often dribbling wildly into the lane, which resulted in six turnovers.