November 12, 2012 |
Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was sleeping comfortably Saturday night when the phone rang. It was the Lakers. They delivered stunning news. Mike D'Antoni got the job, not him. Jackson told his side of the story in a statement Monday. “Saturday morning, [Lakers executive] Jim Buss called to ask if he could come and visit. I didn't solicit or ask for the opportunity but I welcomed both him and [team executive] Mitch Kupchak into my home to discuss the possibility of my return to the Lakers as head coach," Jackson said.
February 23, 2008
Something seemed really strange about Pau Gasol in his Los Angeles debut as a Laker, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Then I realized not a tattoo was to be found on his 7-foot frame, at least as far as the TV cameras could show. Are you sure he's really an NBA player? Donald Bentley La Puente -- Ever since the Pau Gasol trade I have a new favorite column in The Times sports section: the out-of-town NBA box scores. Every time Memphis plays, I love reading the paper the next morning to see Kwame Brown's stat line.
June 7, 1986
I did not appreciate the comments attributed to Pat Riley after the Houston series. How can he point fingers at his players when it's quite evident that he blew it as a coach? Yes, the Lakers had the talent to beat Houston and provide effective competition for Boston, but he had to bestow confidence in his players. By not substituting effectively, by letting Mitch Kupchak and Mike McGee rust on the bench, two players who were an integral part of the regular season, he weakened the whole.
October 2, 1999
The Lakers could still have Elden Campbell and Eddie Jones, solving their rebounding and big-guard needs and be without that overrated headache, Glen Rice. But that is water under the bridge and after the signings of A.C. Green, John Salley and Benoit Benjamin (say it ain't so), I would like to submit a list of other aging big men who might be available for the Lakers to take a look at: Jim Chones, Spencer Haywood, Mark Landsberger, Mychal Thompson, Bob McAdoo, Kurt Rambis, Swen Nater, James Edwards, Frank Brickowski, Jim Brewer, Mike Smrek and Sam Perkins.
September 23, 2000
Congratulations to Mitch Kupchak! For a decade, Jerry West, the greatest general manager in NBA history, struggled unsuccessfully to land an established power forward. In one bold move, Kupchak exchanged Glen Rice, an expendable player, for Horace Grant, an established power forward, tough rebounder, strong defender and adequate shooter. He also upgraded the Lakers' bench by acquiring Greg Foster, an aggressive backup power forward and center. Against all odds, with no leverage but demonstrating patience, wisdom and courage, Kupchak emerged from West's giant shadow and significantly improved the Lakers.
March 1, 2008
In assessing the Lakers' dramatic turnaround, it's time to give credit where credit is due: to everyone. Kobe was right for sending strong messages saying he wanted to be a Laker but only if they got one solid player to bring them a championship. Mitch Kupchak was right in believing in the evolving talents of Bynum, Farmar and Vujacic. Also for getting a great player (Gasol), losing little in the short term, and for not trading Kobe because he couldn't get equal value. Buss was right in telling Kobe he was still just an employee and that Buss would do what's best for his Lakers franchise.
February 18, 2006
Here's a riddle for Jerry Buss: What is purple and gold, starts four stiffs and a megalomaniac, has Rip Van Winkle on the bench, a brain-dead GM, no chance at an NBA title and an excellent chance at another draft lottery? Hint: It's not the Clippers. MARK S. ROTH Los Angeles We are in Year 3 of the Luke Walton era, Year 6 of the Slava Medvedenko era and Year 7 of the Devean George era, so does that mean that we have at least three more years of Sasha Vujacic?
June 17, 2009 |
The cameras didn't catch him. The champagne never touched him. The team partied far from him. Late Sunday night here in Amway Arena's loud visitors' locker room, a tall, paternal figure stood with his family in a distant corner. He watched the Lakers pour champagne on one another with the satisfied smile of a father watching his children play in a sandbox. He listened to the Lakers howling and screeching with the satisfied silence of a father who knows there is nothing he needs to say. The Lakers acted as if they didn't need him. The Lakers know they would not be NBA champions without him. Another night, another title for Mitch Kupchak, the unassuming architect of a team that has brought him three rings yet few plaudits in his years as general manager.
May 24, 2012 |
According to the pundits, it appears the Lakers need to make some changes in personnel. Here's a look at what has been written about the near future. - -The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights Mitch Kupchak's comments that he will look to make changes on the roster. -- ESPN.com's J.A. Adande believes the Lakers need to make fundamental changes. -- Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick argues the Lakers need to trade Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard. -- CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports the Magic want to interview Mitch Kupchak for its open GM job. -- The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore argues the Lakers shouldn't keep Bynum.
April 23, 2005
Of all the insults the dismantled Lakers left us this season -- aside from the tough losses of Shaquille, Rudy T, now Vlade to suspension and Lamar to injuries -- the worst affront had to be this week. They lost to the Warriors by 27 points. The Golden State Warriors. Yeah, I know. Hank Rosenfeld Santa Monica I fear that just as John Wooden retired at UCLA and the Bruins have found him irreplaceable with a revolving door of coaches, the Lakers without GM Jerry West may face the same problem.