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Lakers GM Kupchak says it’s win now and Brown wasn’t doing that

Nov 9, 2012, 4:38 PM EDT

Mitch Kupchak AP

The Lakers did not go out and get Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to have a team that was going to take a while to maybe come together. Their model wasn’t the 2010 Miami Heat, who started 9-8 but stuck with Erik Spoelstra and didn’t have Pat Riley coming to take his job. The Lakers wanted to be the 2008 Celtics — a 20-2 start on the road to a ring.

The Lakers instead were 1-4 with a lot of questions and rather than wait they acted and fired Mike Brown. In explaining why at a press conference Friday, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said it was about the bottom line — wins and losses.

“You can argue ‘was last season a part of the process?’ ‘Was the preseason part of the process?’ But after five games we just felt we weren’t winning, we weren’t seeing improvement and we made a decision,” Kupchak said. “Maybe it would have changed a month down the road or three months down the road. But with this team we didn’t want to wait three months and then find out it wasn’t going to change.”

Kupchak said he was not aware of any player input on the decision (not sure I believe him there). Was this a panic button move?

“(This decision) wasn’t made out of panic,” Kupchak said. “We were aware of this team’s progress through training camp, through the beginning of the season. Only yesterday did we come to the decision to make a change.”

Among Brown’s flaws is a penchant for making things more complicated than they need to be, and Kupchack hinted at that when asked about interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff.

“I expect he’ll make things simpler tonight,” Kupchak said.

Kupchak also talked about working to put together a list of coaches they want to speak with, but added they have not yet talked with anyone. While he said he would consider an assistant on another team — hello Brian Shaw — that more likely it would be an experienced coach not currently employed. Like the guys on this list.

But what about Phil Jackson?

“When there’s a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all time greats, and he’s not coaching you’d be negligent not to be aware,” Kupchack said in what is a pretty neutral statement.

  1. albertmn - Nov 9, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    If they don’t start winning now, is Kupchak next to get the axe? Not trying to be a smartmouth, but asking as a legit question.

    • heat256 - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Maybe he should. He had to know the bench was not good, and his starters were too old to be expected to play major minutes and hold up.

    • chargerdillon - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      The reality is no, there’s zero chance Mitch gets fired. He makes moves that seem virtually impossible and continues to pull them off.

      The reality is he built a team that doesn’t have time to build chemistry, and you have a coach who lived on the excuse of a shortened season for it never working the way it did before he got there.

      Everybody last year asked WHY OH WHY are they not running the triangle when Mike Brown claims that you need a versatile elite point guard to run his offense.

      So they brought in the best mediocre PG they could find in Ramon Sessions and it only clicked a little bit better than before. After watching the first game of the season, my impressions was they were better off with Sessions than Nash. We know Nash is the better PG, so whats the common denominator in this offense. THE DEFENSIVE MINDED COACH.

  2. canehouse - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Wow… lead foot, happy trigger finger… something smells like a deal was already in place with the Zen. Hopefully that happens… Would be epic to see him try to stop the HEAT!!!!!

  3. edwardsro - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Thank Mitch for not wasting anytime. Gasol will be next if he doesn’t get this turned around

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM


  5. bucs24 - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Hire Kobe

  6. scrp2 - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Phil probably gave the lakers a crypted message that he would interested yesterday.

  7. BigBeachBall - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    They should just find somebody off the street that looks kinda like phil jackson and stick him in the coaches seat and see what happens…. Give him free diet cokes…

  8. progress2011 - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:59 PM


    I started the season saying they were a 3 seed AT BEST….These clowns might not make the playoffs now!


  9. dondada10 - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Give Mike D’Antoni a look.

    • mazblast - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Yeah, that will solve the transition and defensive miseries.

  10. wsuperman444 - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Maybe Brown did not get the “memo” from the Buss family to not to vote for Obama this election,stating anyone that votes for him will be fired….

  11. uscthom78 - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    If brown ain’t winning, then you ain’t winning either cupcake. Why don’t you fire yourself too?

    • mazblast - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      Kupchak is an errand boy, nothing more. As long as he drives Kobe’s limo well and lays out His Kobeness’ clothes each day, he’ll be employed.

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