January 10, 2004
Dear Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak, It's time to consider the following crucial questions about Kobe and Shaq: Who works harder in the off-season to improve his game? Who plays with more passion, pride and consistency? Who wants to win more? Which one is more clutch? Who will most likely stay healthy in the coming years? Who is years younger? Who is more fun to watch? Who wants to be the best player in the game? And Dr. Buss, whose contract doesn't break the bank and stifle your flexibility for years to come?
July 27, 2002
Holy Jerry West! Sitting at last month's equivalent of an NBA poker party, the NBA draft, and holding a pair of deuces, the 27th pick in the first round, Mitch Kupchak hit the jackpot. Instead of folding his hand and mailing in his pick, Mitch: Acquired an athletic shooting guard, Kareem Rush, who, after his sophomore season in college, was projected to be a lottery pick; Unloaded Lindsey Hunter's salary when he traded the point guard to Toronto in order to acquire the rights to Rush; Obtained from Toronto Tracy Murray, a superb three-point shooter who will strengthen the Lakers' perimeter game; Created enough cap room to sign Devean George to a long-term contract.
January 30, 1986 |
Already short-handed because of Magic Johnson's knee injury, the Lakers find themselves down to only one healthy center for their game against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at the Coliseum. Mitch Kupchak, the backup center to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, won't play against the Trail Blazers because of a sprained right ankle that he injured in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 125-115 victory over Milwaukee Tuesday night at the Forum.
June 8, 1985
Coach Pat Riley finally has his Laker team playing in the style that kept him in the NBA as a player. In other words, he has a team full of thugs. I'm not talking about Kareem, Worthy or Magic, who are all playing great basketball. I'm talking about the other Lakers who have resorted to Riley's style: battleball. Those who will earn purple hearts if the Lakers win the championship are: Bob McAdoo, a former all-star and scoring champ whose role has now dwindled to beating on the more talented Kevin McHale until he gets six fouls and returns to the bench; Mitch Kupchak, a player who earned my respect by coming back from a severe knee injury and lost my respect by playing bully to the same McHale until fouls put him back on the bench where he belongs; Kurt Rambis, who has no known talent other than being a hit man; and Larry Spriggs, who seems to have talent but is so busy playing enforcer that I'm still not sure if he can play basketball.
June 25, 2005
You don't leave your wallet in your shoe at the beach. You don't leave your baby in the car with the motor running. And you don't leave Robert Horry open for a three-point shot with the game on the line. Congratulations on your sixth ring, Robert. Maurice Sanchez Coto de Caza I am finally beginning to understand the wisdom of Mitch Kupchak's player decisions. Knowing that Robert Horry usually doesn't truly shine until the playoffs, and knowing that the Lakers weren't going to make the playoffs, I can certainly see the brilliance of letting Big Shot Rob go for nothing.
July 4, 2009
The Lakers saved Trevor Ariza's nowhere career and gave him an NBA life and a ring, not to mention a very generous offer to stay with his "home" team. In seemingly a quick decision on both sides, we get Ron Artest, who's coming to his fifth team in about 10 seasons, and Ariza goes to a team with many uncertainties. The Lakers' dream season was built around talent, hard work and chemistry, and they just messed up the last one for next season. Then I read Trevor's agent quoted in the paper saying that it's not about the money and that Trevor wants to go somewhere where he's appreciated.
July 12, 2012 |
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant have had their fair share of verbal sparring bouts when they were teammates on the Lakers from 1996-2004. According to rapper Nas, who has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums since 1994, one of basketball stars might be a bit more glib than the other. When asked who is a better rapper, Nas said, "Shaq got that. " "Shaq got a classic hip-hop album," Nas said. "I don't think Kobe got a chance to put out an album.
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.
June 26, 2004
Were Mitch Kupchak and Jerry Buss watching the same NBA Finals I was watching? And if so, why are they talking about trading the guy who shot 63%, and not the guy who shot 38% -- and kept shooting? Ron Corcillo North Hollywood Dr. Buss, are you really in such a hurry to go back to the glory days of Del Harris? Stephen J. Smith Visalia Why is Mitch Kupchak interviewing replacements for Phil Jackson? It's Kobe's team. Make him do it. Burt Collette Rancho Mirage When will the Lakers learn?