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April 13, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
TV cameramen yelled and cursed at each other as dozens of reporters scrambled to get an interview with Gary Vitti. It's never a good sign if the longtime Lakers trainer is the target of a media crush, but somebody had to provide medical details Saturday of the hard news: Kobe Bryant is sidelined six to nine months because of a torn left Achilles' tendon. NBA teams begin playing around Oct. 31, meaning Bryant theoretically could be back in time for the start of next season. "I think that's a realistic goal for him," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said.
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April 8, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
It could always be worse. The Lakers could have been pounded into a sad corner of team history with Dwight Howard in Houston's lineup. So they got hit with the next worst thing, losing to the Rockets without the injured Howard, 145-130, and clinching their most miserable win-loss record since moving to Los Angeles in 1960. With four games to go, the Lakers (25-53) already outdid the 1974-75 team that went 30-52. The Lakers keep seeking stability, a main reason team executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak recently sat down with Kobe Bryant for a clear-the-air meeting, The Times has learned.
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June 15, 1985
To all you folks who are complaining about the Laker rough stuff, wake up. You call yourselves fans, then put your team down when they start fighting fire with fire. Don't you remember what happened last year when the Lakers did not respond to the Celtics' aggressiveness. I praise Pat Riley for using his tough guys (Kupchak, Spriggs) and ruining the Celtics' intimidation factor with some Laker body slamming. PAUL CLARKE Laguna Beach
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March 20, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus
Here's the Lakers' newest nightmare development, other than the play-so-terribly-they-miss-playoffs one they're living now. It starts with plenty of money to spend on free agents. And there's a player or two who can change a franchise. But he's also being recruited by the New York Knicks. Phil Jackson vs. the Lakers? Could easily happen. It won't be in July unless the Lakers show a renewed interest in Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony should he opt out of his contract. But next year, when Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge could be available, the Knicks and Lakers will have plenty of money.
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February 27, 1993
Are the Lakers out of their minds? Trade Sam Perkins for Benoit Benjamin, a has-been, and Doug Christie, who has a history of knee problems? Has the Laker front office been impressed with the Angels' recent trades? Assistant General Manager Mitch Kupchak says, "We feel we might have to take a couple of chances . . . " He must have caught "Whiteyherzogitis." ROBERT WEBSTER Costa Mesa
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November 27, 2013 | Mike Bresnahan
Kobe Bryant was all smiles during his news conference a day after receiving a two-year, $48.5-million contract extension. But sometime between saying this would "probably" be his last contract and jabbing the NBA for vetoing the Chris Paul trade (he's still irritated), Bryant's became serious when defending the Lakers' decision to extend his deal without seeing him play a game since April. "It makes me want to run through a wall for them," he said Tuesday. "Kind of just adds more fuel to the fire.
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November 25, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers experienced an early day, a 9 a.m. charter flight to Washington D.C. As usual, Kobe Bryant was up before any of them. He signed a two-year contract extension Monday morning for $48.5 million that stands to keep him with the Lakers until he is two months shy of his 38th birthday. PHOTOS: Kobe Bryant through the years He ended several months of speculation before even playing a game, terminating his lame-duck status in what could have been the final year of a contract paying him $30.5 million this season.
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October 16, 2010 | By Baxter Holmes, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak watched an old friend walk toward him Saturday night, but just stared for a moment when he got there. His friend didn't look like he remembered him, at least not in the body. "The face looks like George," Kupchak said. Much of the rest doesn't. George Karl, the Denver Nuggets' coach, underwent treatment for a form of neck and throat cancer in the off-season, and has lost about 50 pounds. "I haven't found many suits that fit me, I know that," Karl said.
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July 23, 2010 | By Mike Bresnahan
The right knee that bothered Kobe Bryant last season finally went in for some service. Bryant had arthroscopic surgery last week on the knee, the Lakers announced Friday. The knee bothered Bryant so much in April that he sat out a handful of regular-season games, and it was eventually drained near the end of the Lakers' first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City. Bryant is rehabilitating the knee and is expected to return in time for training camp, which opens Sept.
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June 5, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers are trying to prepare for Dwight Howard's free-agency decision, whether he chooses to stay with the team long term or leave for another franchise. "It's the one decision we have to wait on," said General Manager Mitch  Kupchak in an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com .  "Then we will try to have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C depending on what happens. " The Lakers hope Howard chooses to re-sign for what could be a $118-million, five-year contract. "I think this is the best city to live in with the best fans in the NBA," said Kupchak.
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March 7, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers hit a low point on Thursday night, getting destroyed by the Clippers in a 48-point drubbing. General Manager Mitch Kupchak was caught on the national TNT broadcast with a clearly displeased facial expression as his team suffered its largest margin of defeat in franchise history. Kupchak and the Lakers had every intention of competing this season, but Kobe Bryant's return from an Achilles tear didn't last long when he suffered a knee fracture in his sixth game of the season.
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February 21, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday. The Lakers made a little splash on Wednesday night, trading point guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for young guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. "As a person, as a player, we loved him," said Mitch Kupchak of Blake in a press conference on Thursday.  "But our shortage of point guards about a month or so ago led us to Kendall Marshall. "  The Lakers started the season with three point guards but when they all went down simultaneously with injury, Kupchak signed Marshall. Once the point guard corps started rounding into shape, the glut at the position became problematic.
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February 20, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus
Pau Gasol, the NBA's most-targeted subject of trade rumors, survived another deadline Thursday at noon, with the Lakers unable to move him and his $19.3-million salary. The Lakers made no deals at all Thursday, which brought to mind one obvious question. What's next for a team on pace for its worst season ever? The Lakers are headed for a lottery pick in the June draft, followed by free agency in July. They saved about $4 million in salary and luxury taxes by trading Steve Blake on Wednesday night for two seldom-used Golden State guards.
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February 13, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers won't tank, according to General Manager Mitch Kupchak. But they're certainly not winning any time soon, finding a new way to lose Thursday. The Lakers scared the Oklahoma City Thunder for almost 48 minutes before falling, 107-103, heading into the All-Star break tied with Sacramento for dead last in the Western Conference. They also set a team record with a seventh consecutive home loss, the latest low in a season filled with them at Staples Center. Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 43 points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder made up a 14-point deficit.
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February 13, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers won't try to lose games to improve their draft position, General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday. "Winning is never a bad thing," he said. "If you try to manipulate the draft, I'm not a karma guy, but if you try to manipulate this thing, it never works out the way you think it's going to work out. "You're better off doing what you know is the right thing to do and whatever happens happened for the right reason. And that's our approach. " The Lakers (18-34) had the NBA's fifth-worst record before playing Oklahoma City on Thursday.
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February 5, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers are a dismal 16-32 on the season, but General Manager Mitch Kupchak has a positive outlook on the team's situation. "Our future is a bright future. We're going to be just fine," said Kupchak on Wednesday to Jared Greenberg and Rick Fox on "SiriusXM NBA Radio. " "The franchise is going to attract players," he continued.  "Unfortunately, we're going to have a good draft pick this year.  We'll get a good player  there. " The projected draft pool could include Kansas players Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum (Australia)
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July 9, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
In celebrating their agreement with free-agent center Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets said too much. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com , the Rockets have been fined $150,000 by the NBA for "unauthorized comments made by team personnel about Howard during the league's annual moratorium on player business. " For the first nine days of July, the league office finalizes their year-end accounting for the previous season and determines the salary cap for the coming year. During that time, teams can come to verbal agreements with players but are not permitted to comment publicly.
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May 23, 2012 | By Mike Bresnahan
Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol were in the Lakers' training facility on the same day, possibly for the last time. They arrived several hours apart for their exit interviews Wednesday and then stepped into the sunshine afterward, though nothing looked overly bright about the Lakers' future. "There will be some change," said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, the sting still fresh from another ouster in the Western Conference semifinals. "When you lose before you think you should have lost, you have to open up all opportunities.
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January 8, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
HOUSTON - These are rough days for Lakers fans. Very. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, however, sounded at ease during a phone interview with The Times, going over a variety of topics on a team that can't stay healthy, play defense or, seemingly, make the playoffs. First things first. Kupchak is satisfied with Coach Mike D'Antoni, blaming the Lakers' woes on injuries and saying D'Antoni is doing a "great job. " "We're happy with Mike," Kupchak said Wednesday. "You can look back six weeks ago and say it's exciting and we're playing great.
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November 27, 2013 | Mike Bresnahan
Kobe Bryant was all smiles during his news conference a day after receiving a two-year, $48.5-million contract extension. But sometime between saying this would "probably" be his last contract and jabbing the NBA for vetoing the Chris Paul trade (he's still irritated), Bryant's became serious when defending the Lakers' decision to extend his deal without seeing him play a game since April. "It makes me want to run through a wall for them," he said Tuesday. "Kind of just adds more fuel to the fire.
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