Mitch CupcakeHOOPSWORLD.COM: The front office of the Los Angeles Lakers has been the subject of pointed criticism over the past few seasons as the team has slid from perennial contender to mediocrity. The strongest denigration has come from the fans, angry that Lakers owner Jerry Buss is so unwilling to exceed the luxury tax threshold (read: acquiring talented, but expensive pieces) despite having full pockets fueled by expensive ticket prices and high revenues. The losing has pushed the fans of the forum blue and gold to the point they are now – demanding big moves and seeking someone to blame for the team’s descent.

GM Mitch Kupchak firmly pointed the finger at himself earlier this week. “As an organization, we all share the responsibility, but I’m the guy up front so it falls to me,” he said. “That’s the job of a general manager.”

With the Lakers in disarray since injuries ravaged the squad in January, Kupchak is in charge of overseeing the assessment of and changes to this Lakers squad over the summer. When asked to summarize and detail the disappointment that was the Lakers’ season, Kupchak saw the team’s lack of chemistry as a primary reason for their plunge. “When you put together a team, those are things you take into consideration in terms of the players, complimentary players, lead players, et cetera,” he said, acknowledging his responsibility in not addressing the team’s need for togetherness.

However, Kupchak shot trenchant disapproval for the way the players handled themselves. “The trust wasn’t there; guys didn’t really play together,” he noted. “It didn’t seem to me like they wanted to play together. And why that is – certainly a break in momentum with injuries and the pressure to make the playoffs and the pressure to exceed last year, but those are things we are going through right now and its my job to figure out why it went the way it did.”

Injuries were a large part of the Lakers struggles this season, but the Lakers executive did not feel that was an adequate excuse for his players’ actions. “[Injuries are] typical with an NBA team,” he held. “You know New Jersey had it and a lot of teams have it but we lost something and we did not play our best basketball the second half of the year even though we were relatively healthy going into the playoffs. We were not a very good team, period.”

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  • Boo Hoo

    Too bad Kobe. Now you want to win? You mean now that he’s done taking care of his own personal records, he’s mad because he didn’t win MVP because of his team’s poor record.

    Stupid that Lakers were once Championship contenders and he and Kupchak made them the way they are today.

    Why would anyone including Shaq want to pass a torch to an arrogant spoiled rich baby like Kobe.

    Kobe would have had the torch passed to him eventually as Shaq wore down and he developed as he has today. Lakers would also have 3 more Titles.
    Shaq is a liability in the end of the game, but that is what Kobe was for and that is where he could have made his stamp. Plus I’ve only seen Shaq lose 1 game in all his years as a Laker because of missed free throws.

    In all Kobe’s dream was to take the Lakers to the Title without any other superstar next to him so he can hog all the fame. Now he realizes he can’t do it and is crying. Boo Hooo!!!

    I don’t see how all the stupid Laker fans can love a guy that took the greatest franchise (next to the Yankees) from Championship caliber to yay we made the playoffs!! Not acceptable for a golden franchise like the Lakers.

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    boo hoo
    maybe you should be more respectful of a player that gives everything he has every night!
    practice hard and is in perfect shape.
    fight 110%
    which is why he could not get along with shaq
    since he is a lazy ass, and was never is shape and get injured for that!
    so instead of just talking bullshit about kobe
    shut up please

    yeah right… he was not playing the last 3 minutes of the games because of the hack a shaq… so who was the clutch player?
    but maybe your eyes were obscured by your hate…

  • Boo Hoo’s an idiot

    Boo Hoo, remember one thing… Shaq was making 27 MILLION dollars! And the next year he was set to make another 30 MILLION!!! With just him he is already more than half of the salary cap. FAT and out of Shape, there is no way he would have brought another championship to the Lakers. We couldn’t do it with Payton, Malone, Kobe and Shaq, remember? The only reason we had Payton and Malone was because Shaq knew we didn’t have a chance with the amount of money he was Sapping up and begged them to play with him promising a ring. Remember how he didn’t want to do a damn thing and how pissed off you were about it? Well, Miami is experiencing the same damn problem. Coach Riley is holding his tongue but recently said that he wanted Shaq to repay the Heat 20 MILLION dollars for lack of work in the off season and regular season. We made the right decision and now we just need to make another right decision and let go of Mitch Kutchak… I doubt we can get J Oneal or Garnett, but I would definitely add a Gerald Wallace or Chauncey Billups to add to the mix. I’m surprised Laker Band Wagon fans/ “Shaq Fan’s” like you are still around Boo Hoo. I totally thought they all moved to Miami. You must have moved back after the first round…

  • Boo Hoo Booo You Biatch

    Kobe is the best player in the league and will be for a long time to come. Boo Hoo your just a laker/kobe hater because his not on your team hes on ours, if he was on yours you would like him wouldnt you.Thats right that proves that the Heat got lucky last year how do you win a championship and get swept the next year that means you suck.

  • CV_Lex7

    boo hoo, this is a website for laker/kobe fans. and if u’re not 1 of us. get the hell out of here. As much as i like shaq. if u consider kobe a spoiled rich baby. shaq is more of a spoiled rich biatch. he gets all the money while resting during the off-season and most of the regular season while kobe and dwade try to get the team to the playoffs and suddenly appear before the playoffs and gets all the credit from the team. shaq onli lose 1 game because of his free throws because he’s NOT EVEN IN THE GAME if the game is close.

  • Boo Hoo’s an Idiot

    Mark my words. D Wade is a stellar player, almost to Kobe’s level… He knows if he opens his mouth about shaq, there will be shit flying for years on end. So he is gonna keep his mouth shut. But if I know Shaq and he continues on with his antics, its gonna wear away at D Wade and eat him up inside… Just watch one of these days D Wade is gonna explode fury on shaq…

  • kobebeh

    I sympathize with kobe because when i imagine people being one of the most talented superstars in NBA, it’s frustrating that you are the only one pulling the team together .Imagine you are by by far one of the best players in basketball and you do everything to make your team win and then when you are double-teamed or overly fatigued you pass to an open teammate and hits nothing but the backboard. Won’t you be frustrated? Kobe is more mature than before.You are just a biased dimwit who has the hots for shaq. I respect shaq and kobe. But shaq is losing his prime now. I idolize kobe more. Kobe is the first one to arrive at practice and last to leave the gym , so better straigthen up your facts.


    Give Kobe some help and he’ll show you that the right decision was made. Shaq had his time and it was and is over…nuff said!