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Mitch Kupchak says Kobe won’t be consulted on Lakers coaching search

May 15, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

Mitch Kupchak AP

Kobe Bryant said recently that unlike the way the Lakers went about it with their two previous (and ultimately failed) coaching hires, that he would like some input this time around in hopes of helping the team make the right choice.

“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni, who both failed to endure the length of the initial contracts they signed with the Lakers before parting ways. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”

It doesn’t exactly seem like it’s a priority for Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak to seek his consultation, at least during the early stages of the process.

From Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:

“From time to time we ask his advice,” Kupchak told ESPN at the NBA’s draft combine. “He really won’t weigh in on something like this. I’m not even sure that we’ll talk to him prior to interviews. He is in our facility and from time to time I’ll go down and talk to him about a bunch of different things.”

Now, this doesn’t mean that Bryant won’t have any say at all, and as Kupchak mentioned, he and Bryant speak all the time, which will give Kobe plenty of opportunities to make his voice be heard.

But the Lakers are in an extremely difficult situation. The league’s glamor franchise wants desperately to get back to being relevant as quickly as possible after two consecutive dismal seasons, and rebuilding properly for long-term success involves getting a coach on board who can implement a system and establish a culture of winning that will last far beyond the two years remaining on Bryant’s contract.

L.A. certainly would like to get someone in place who could bond with Bryant and help the team make one more run at a title while he’s still around. But that’s the dream — the reality is, it may take much longer, and the franchise needs to choose the best coaching candidate available more than it needs to acquiesce to Bryant’s wishes.

  1. eugenesaxe1 - May 15, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Certainly Kupchak understands he isn’t getting anywhere near a championship for the next two years. The best they can hope for is to draft someone that Kobe can teach to be an obsessive winner (or at least obsessive).

    • spursareold - May 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      You can’t teach competitive fire, or there wouldn’t be so many draft busts.

  2. Gordon - May 15, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    I hear Mike Brown is available.

    • 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 12:44 AM

      …like an acne covered fat chic a week before prom…

    • ranfan12 - May 16, 2014 at 1:28 AM

      death stare round 2

  3. goldmember21 - May 15, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Bring back Mike Brown!

  4. detroitbasketballfan - May 15, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    cause it worked so well the last two times

  5. tomtravis76 - May 15, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    There are a few big expiring contracts in NY with Phil…

    Lakers won’t be viable contenders for a few years. Why not take a few expirings from NYC and let Kobe chase a title with Melo,Phil and the Knicks? It would set up the Lakers with a ton of cap room in 2015 for a run at some young talent to go with whatever they get in high lottery picks with this and next year’s draft.

    Kobe is an all time great Laker, but his end of the career vision is not the same as the front offices with the current state of the franchise. It would make for some fun highlights if Melo and Kobe did battle with the big three in the eastern conference.

    • 1historian - May 16, 2014 at 8:19 AM

      Kobe is without question one of the all time greats but there comes a time when even the best has to go, and his time is now.

      • loungefly74 - May 16, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        as one of Kobe’s biggest fans here on this site…I will say i am disappointed with his contract. It may end up being the achilles heel to the Lakers reloading/rebuilding process.

  6. sportsfan18 - May 16, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    First, the author says this… “But the Lakers are in an extremely difficult situation.”

    Then, the author says this… “the reality is, it may take much longer, and the franchise needs to choose the best coaching candidate available more than it needs to acquiesce to Bryant’s wishes.”

    I see NO “extremely difficult situation” here…

    The organization needs to take care of the organization… NOT a player with only a few seasons left…

    It would be great if everything aligned between Kobe’s wishes and the teams, but that isn’t always reality…

    Kobe is in win NOW mode because his career is winding down rapidly…

    The organization MUST take a longer view than trying to slap some things together short term as they will fall short and then leave them FURTHER from their goal of winning… (for an example, see what the Nets threw together for this season while kissing their future goodbye in the process).

    For good business leaders, there is NO extremely difficult situation here…

    • antistratfordian - May 16, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      Well we’re talking about Kobe, so he can make it a difficult situation because he’s kind of constantly menstruating.

      • 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 2:50 AM

        hardy har haar…

        **badum tssss***

        he’ll be here all week folks…

  7. lakerade - May 16, 2014 at 4:37 AM

    Kobe gets one shot in the next two years. Lakers make at least 2 Finals in the next 5.

  8. provguard - May 16, 2014 at 4:57 AM

    Anyone else get the feeling that Kupchak may not be a Laker very much longer????

  9. andreboy1 - May 16, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Yeah, let’s consult Kobe for the next coach even though he’ll probably shoot 30 times a game next year and average 18 points. All while publicly blaming his teammates for everything that goes wrong. They aren’t winning shi t in the next two years.

  10. omniusprime - May 16, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Klueless Kupcake and Jerky Boy Jimmy should consult with Kobe on the next coach because they screwed up so badly the last two picks, the two worst coaches the Lakers ever had. As long as Trash Nash is on the team and a supposed starter then the team isn’t going anywhere regardless of coach or players. Time to force that crippled greedy little jerk to retire since he’s physically incapable of playing through an entire game, much less a season.

    I think the best thing is to let Kobe coach. Bill Russell and Al Attles were good player coaches. Why not give Kobe a shot? He sure as heck can’t do worse than clown brown or dumbtoni.

    Fire Trash Nash Now!

    • borderline1988 - May 16, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Do you know why Nash isn’t retiring? Because the Lakers handed him a 3 year $36 million contract. Thing is, washed up players who get big contracts generally dont walk away from them…kind of like someone else on the Lakers who appears incapable of playing through an entire season, yet earns a ridiculous sum of money..

      Garnett isn’t retiring either, even though he’d probably only get a 1 year $3million contract on the open market. Nobody walks away from big contracts.

  11. billtetley53 - May 16, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Prime, nice of you to show your myopic self again. You certainly ducked off of here when the lakersstunk up the joint. Youre a horrible fan. Not only that, youre a moron to boot.

    Get lost gramps, and take that sausage wallet of a son(kb2408) with you. You 2 are the 2 biggest know nothings on this site.

    • loungefly74 - May 16, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      bill…i feel insulted you left me out. hehheee!

  12. billtetley53 - May 16, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Lounge, you arent anywhere in the stratosphere of those 2 dopes! Keep trying though, you may just get there!😉

  13. ranfan12 - May 15, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    not sure if serious since he graduated high school. maybe you’re the one that needs some education lol

  14. ranfan12 - May 15, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    not bad for a troll, but would’ve been a real low blow if he hadn’t actually graduated lmao. put some decent effort in man.

  15. 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Leave the Laker trolling to billtetley. You clearly haven’t mastered the artform. Keep trying though, everyone has to start somewhere…

  16. 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 12:46 AM


  17. mackcarrington - May 16, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    You must surely mean Chitlins!!!!!!

  18. casualcommenter - May 16, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    Your first comment on this thread was at 11:08.
    This comment was your fifth on the thread and was posted an hour later.

    Did it really take you an hour to come up 5 sentences of trolling comments.
    …Are you really that mentally slow?

  19. eugenesaxe1 - May 16, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    You…Stupid for sure.

  20. 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 2:47 AM

    No cabron…I’m Mexican.

  21. stephenlin - May 16, 2014 at 2:36 AM

    antistratfordian and apkyletexas could probably give him a run for the money.

  22. 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    @ stephenlin

    I’m not familiar with apkyletexas’ “work” so I can’t really speak on him/her, but anti is lightweight to bill/paul. bill/paul sons anti and gave birth to anti’s whole style. LOL

  23. loungefly74 - May 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    “live to hate”…bill’s motto.

  24. loungefly74 - May 16, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    orale holmes. simon!

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