Mitch Kupchak hasn't lost patience with Lakers
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak is never one to smash the glass and start hitting the panic button. He isn't doing it now despite the team's 1-4 start.
He recognizes the issues surrounding the team. The Lakers are dead last in the Western Conference despite the largest payroll in the NBA — $100 million in player salary, plus another $30 million in projected luxury taxes.
"Expectations are high, there's no doubt. The city is impatient," Kupchak said Thursday in a phone interview with The Times. "At what point do you lose patience? Is it 1-15? Is it a higher number? A lesser number? I don't know right now. But we have a game Friday night and we're going to win it and try to build off that."
The Lakers haven't started out 1-4 since 1993. On Friday they host Golden State, another young and quick team trying to make a statement at Staples Center.
The Lakers are neither young nor fast. They also aren't lighting up NBA stat sheets. They are 16th in the league in points per game, 19th in points allowed and third-worst in turnovers per game.
Their latest loss came Wednesday at Utah, 95-86, when they shot 33.8%.
"We haven't put together a game on both ends of the ball yet," Kupchak said. "[Wednesday] night we had a great eight- or nine-minute defensive run but we couldn't score. So we just haven't been able to put it all together yet. You always hope through hard work and practice that the next game will start a streak. That's exactly what this team is doing. They're working hard."
Kupchak also said the Lakers had "some bumps and bruises."
Steve Nash has missed three games because of a small fracture in his left leg. Kobe Bryant has managed to play through a strained right foot. Dwight Howard has played five games since undergoing back surgery in April.
Kupchak, in his 13th season as the Lakers' head of basketball operations, understood the reaction of Lakers fans.
"Nothing's unfair. Everybody has an opinion and they have a right to their opinion," he said. "You're free to decide what you think is fair and not fair.
"I think it's fair to say after five games we didn't think we'd be 1-4, but we have a lot of new players, we have some injured players and we're introducing some new concepts. All these things get factored in. We'll continue to monitor the team and we understand expectations."
Bryant video goes viral
Video of a disturbed Bryant on the bench late in the loss to Utah has gone viral as the "Kobe Death Stare."
Coach Mike Brown can be seen briefly in the shot and some interpreted this to mean that Brown was the target of Bryant's anger. Bryant denied it Thursday.
"I'm too old to deal with that stuff," he said. "I've been his biggest supporter. I'm really too old to be dealing with childish things."
Bryant viewed the clip on a reporter's phone and called it ridiculous.
"Everybody here would be frustrated losing a game. You're angry. It has nothing to with one particular person," he said. "God, people are bored."
Seems like Mitch noticed the defense we played for a good stretch against the Jazz and the defense that brought us back into the game when our offense started flowing again. (that was then subsequently ruined by a certain second year point guard that doesn't know how to switch off an assignment but I digress)
In b4 some fans say that Mitch "had" to say all this to save face
Also there was part of the article where a Lakers fan pepper sprayed a jazz fan but it isn't relevant so I didn't put it in.
Edited by Majesty, November 08, 2012 - 08:04 PM.