O.C. Register: In the spirit of the season, let’s send some holiday cheer to someone who has earned it — someone who spent much of 2007 getting hammered, and not in the fun, eggnog way.

We’re speaking of Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, whom Lakers Nation fired about a thousand times in ‘07 but Lakers management never did.

Based on the way this season has started — with the Lakers at 18-10 and the GM’s biggest rebuilding block, Andrew Bynum, literally in the center of it all — keeping Kupchak appears to have been the right move.

Hindsight is just wonderful that way.

When everyone from Kobe to Jack thought the Lakers should ship Bynum to New Jersey for quick-fix Jason Kidd, Kupchak took the long view and held firm. Now he has another slam-dunking, shot-blocking big man to pair with Bryant (although Bynum mustn’t become satisifed with his recent success and still must prove he can be a double-double threat for 82 regular-season games and multiple playoff series).

Continue reading ‘Is it time to praise Kupchak?’

  • http://lakers.com k0be da 1 andonly

    When we win a CHAMPIONSHIP with Kobe and Bynum AVG. 25 pts each, then i will BOW to him

  • gugy

    I agreed. This team is doing well, but still there is a long road for a championship. Until them I have many reservation regarding Cupcake.

    Bring Artest now!

  • keep24

    Make sure KB retires as a Laker and then, I will personally drive to your house or place of business and beg for your forgiveness. Until that time, you’re on thin ice and so is Dr. Buss.

    I don’t care what Kobe has said or done. He may be a d.i.c.k off the court but he’s a stud on the court. This is business. Act like men and stop all this none sense about hurt feelings and lies.

    This isn’t Lifetime for men, is it?

  • keep24

    just imagine what the lineup would have been had he not traded Butler for Brown.

    Kobe, Butler, Odom, Ariza, Bynum, Fisher and company.


  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    You guys have to admit, the SOB can draft. Look at his picks, Bynum, Farmar, Crit, Turiaf (who was a steal in the second round). I mean even Walton has his good days.

    Finally, to the guys who want Artest. What is yet another small forward going to bring to the Lakers? I mean how many small forwards can one team have? Let’s see Ariza, Walton, Radman (at 6’10, he’s still a small forward). Even if you sacrifice LO for Artest, you’d be sacrificing LO who is a better rebounder than Artest (if you didn’t know the Lakers are in the top 5 in rebounds) and a lot of that is due to LO (whether you guys like him or not). Furthermore Sacramento is NOT going to trade Artest to the Lakers. I mean if that’s the case, let’s just trade Kobe to Phoenix. Wake up from the wet dream. The only way Artest comes to the here is if he opts out of his contract and the end of this year and signs with the Lakers. Sac is NOT trading him to the Lakers.

  • http://hhb PHANT0M

    Agreed^ Completely.
    All in all Fu*K Artest.

    He’s not the piece were missing.

  • ab4sure

    Hell NO it is not time to Praise Him!!! Wait til we Win A Championship. Right now it is time for EVERY LAKER FAN WHO DOUBTED HIM TO BEG FOR FORGIVENESS!!! And to say Say I AM SORRY!!! I will not play GM again. I am glad you didn’t trade your future franchise center along with Odom for Oneil. I am glad you didn’t give into kobe’s wants and traded Bynum for Kidd. I am also glad you drafted Farmar, a hot young guard who makes our 2nd unit run, and drafted Turiaf in the second round who gives us energy and a defensive presence. Thank you for getting Ariza for Cook. You know how to turn a bad pick into something good. There is another pick that others don’t recognize but will soon thank you for and that is Crittenton. Some presents have to be opened later. Thank you for not losing your cool when your star player disses you in public and not to let that affect your judgement. Also for not letting Buss trade kobe for second rate players and for not letting kobe trade himself despite himself. lol All the while you have given a face of respectability when the franchise was being trashed and disrespected in public. Sure you have made mistakes..all GM’s do and if anyone can name one then that gm must have just been hired because he doesn’t exist. kwame for butler but that was understandable as trying to find a big in this league is the hardest thing to do. But you did that three years ago with Bynum.

    So every laker fan who doubted you should reexamine there own judgement and put alittle more trust in yours. Even now has future trade speculation seems to be running rampant!!!! Maybe those trade speculators should ask one question… What would Mitch do???? lol

  • http://lakers.com k0be da 1 andonly

    NOw that i think of it, it would be pretty hard to apologize to the guy, because he did LIE to KOBE, but then again , if he didnt ….he probably wouldnt be in a laker uniform today.

  • Flush Odumb

    No praise from me for Kupcake. Trading Caron Butler for Kwame Brown-stain was a HUGE BLUNDER. The whole Shaq situation was totally botched. Let’s see if we can at least win a playoff series this year and that Kobe finishes his career with the Lakers.

  • Rpoc

    No. The blunders he has made outweigh the success now. He inherited a dynasty and botched it. Now he’s trying to make up for that.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #20754 Will Be Quoted Here]

    This coming from a guy willing to trade Bynum and our young talent like farmar or critt for JO. You should be thanking Mitch and glad your not the GM.


    Praise Kupchak? are u kidding me?

    Lets see how many great players didn’t he pick when he chose cook?

    lets not forget the kwame trade for caron butler. one of the worst trades in history…

    Remember he let fish go, shaq go, he was unable to keep kb happy.

    AB4sure he was willing to let Bynum go for oneil just not odom too…

    Also who signed vlad to a bad contract?

    Who over paid walton for what he does bc he had one good year followed by a horrible playoff series?

    To be fair he did do a couple of good things, he traded cook for ariza and drafted farmar, critt, and turiaf which all 4 i like.

    But to praise kupchak is a joke. we havent even won anything yet with him. let him win a few like jerry west and then we will talk.

  • kyler_hay

    cupcake done some bad moves but we kept baby shaq and look at kidd now he cant turn the nets around and bynum is a double double machine

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #20759 Will Be Quoted Here]

    letting fish and shaq go??? there were reasons and you don’t want to get into that becuase you would lose that argument like before. You have wrong info because Bynum was NEVER OFFERED TO INDY in any trade. Odom was the one. Indy wanted both. Vlad is alittle overpaid i will give you that, but remember kobe “your idol” and PJ both wanted the lakers to go get Vlad. Don’t judge Walton too soon when starting last yr. he was in double figures and provided both reb. and assists and runs the triangle better than most lakers.

    I agree we shouldn’t praise him, but those who wanted to trade Andrew “ship his ass out” Bynum” which includes you need to do some serious groveling…LOL

    Also, if he kept kobe happy we would not have Bynum. Making Kobe happy is not what is best for the Lakers.

  • http://getgarnett.com jonasjulienjoseph


  • Ignard

    Even though it’s really fun to be talking about other Lakers other than Kobe, it’s still VERY early to be anointing these kids. They are fun to watch and likeable dudes but lets win 50 or more games and at least get passed the first round and then and only then will i eat crow.

  • pjt

    Praise for what?????? We still need a 2nd option star vet…

  • lakersfan17

    I think that we should start praising Kupchak when we actually win a championship with Bynum on our team, he is playing good but we need to win something to actually praise Kupchak.

  • franchise98bn

    Praise B*tch Kupchak?!?!?!

    The city of LA hasn’t seen any gold trophys since 2002. I’ll praise him when we win one.

  • robert

    just like the first steps kobe took on the court, i knew Bynum was following the same path.. now tell me, WHYTF did the ZEN MASTER sit Bynum so much the first 2 seasons? I kno the Zen doesn’t play rookies much, but would Bynum have hurt our poor lakers with trash parker being our PG??? go figure… Bynum would probably be starting center in this years all star game if we didn’t pay too many millions of dollars to Zen Master… thank you James Worthy for finally noticing this Zen guy’s flaws… thank you James.

  • Shawn

    all hail mitch!!!!!!!!


    Shawn I agree wholeheartedly!Keep24 is right also,make sure Kobe stays 4GOOD,The Pack Rules!!!

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #20759 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I wouldn’t go so far as to “praise” Kupchak, but the truth of the matter is, he has not done so bad considering all the circumstances he dealt with.

    However, I would like to touch upon Phantom’s unelaborated post:

    With regards to selecting Cook in the first round of the 2003 NBA draft. Come on, did anyone really think Leandro Barbosa was going to be a decent player (in actuality he’s super fast, can shoot the three, but is a terrible distributor as a point guard). Also, no one thought Josh Howard was going to be this good.

    Yes, yes, we all know that Caron Butler for Kwame Brown trade backfired, but I remember why that trade went down. Caron was going into is final year on his contract. The Lakers were NOT going to resign him because they had Odom there to play the small forward position, which Caron also plays, and they needed a power forward, which is why they traded for Kwame Brown. Kwame was supposed to be the Lakers power forward, but unfortunately because Kwame can’t play that far from the rim, he couldn’t play the 4 spot, so they moved him to the center position, which is why he plays center now.

    With regards to letting Fish go, Fish was offered more money by Golden St (a 6 year, $37M deal), the Lakers couldn’t match this.

    As for trading away Shaq in the summer of 2004, you can thank boy wonder Kobe Bryant for this one. I’ve said time and time again, the Lakers traded Shaq so that they could resign Kobe Bryant. Kobe WAS NOT going to resign with the Lakers if the Lakers did not trade Shaq (remember Kobe was a free agent that summer of 2004 and was “tired of being a sidekick”, read Phil’s book). If addition, in the summer of 2005, Shaq would’ve been able to opt-out of his Laker contract, which he was going to do anyways because the Lakers did not want to pay him what he wanted ($30M/year). Knowing that they needed to resign Kobe immediately (he was close to leaving for the Clippers!), the Lakers traded Shaq and the very next day Kobe Bryant signed a 7 year deal with the Lakers. If the Lakers had kept Shaq, there is high probability, Kobe would’ve left the Lakers as a free agent in 2004 and then Shaq most likely would’ve opted out in 2005 leaving the Lakers both Kobe-less and Shaq-less (this is why the Lakers did not get much back for Shaq. Not to mention Shaq had a no-trade clause in his contract much like Kobe does now).

    Kupchak did not want to trade both LO and Bynum for JO, which I completely agreed with. JO is NOT worth both Bynum and LO despite what some people said here over the summer.

    Vlad’s contract is a bad contract, but both Kobe and Phil wanted him here because they needed a 3 point threat. When healthy Vlad is a good shooter. All last year he had a sprained ligament in his shooting hand and then he had his shoulder injury. At the beginning of this year, Vlad was shooting great, however, from what I understand he now has two sprained wrists which is why his shot attempts have dropped over the last 3 weeks.

    Before, you rip apart a player or a GM, please get the facts right.

  • ignard

    Robert. Drew wasn’t ready and he STILL has alot to learn. Phil did the RIGHT thing by sitting Drew and letting him learn. To borrow a line from THE WOLF lets not start sucking each other d**ks just yet, Drew is coming along but lets see how he finishes the season and plays in the playoffs.

  • http://JHLaker JHLaker

    I agree…Letting drew sit was good, the kid has alot of growing up to do..Along with his basketball sense…As far as praising Mitch not yet…There is alot of things that play in the role of being a GM….We only know what the public knows Also he works for Buss who I might say is the ultimate say in what goes on in LA….No prasies for mitch, Lets just hope are team contiues to improve….

  • ab4sure

    Yes no praise but WHERE ARE THE APOLOGIES. FOR RIPPING KUPCHAK FOR NOT TRADING BYNUM!!! I gave many other reasons on an earlier post for this article and still I see no Apologies. There have been a few apologies on the shoutbox and I have only seen one by the ICE CREAM MAN. He is the only one who seems to be MAN ENOUGH to make a public apology. Funny how you guys can ridicule Kupchak and now that we see what he has done for the most part has been very good for the lakers you refuse to recognize his accomplishments. All I have to say to those who ridiculed him this past summer is if your big enough to criticize you should be big enough to Apologize for the Ranting and Raving at him.

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    I would like to mention ONE MORE TIME to everyone that NO ONE supported anything my dad did BEFORE the Lakers started rolling like 16lb bowling balls down the lanes of basketball. Once again, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT! :-D

  • Rpoc

    [Comment ID #20756 Will Be Quoted Here]
    Please save me your attitude. I wanted Barbosa (Harper fraking recommended him) for example. Would you like to have him? As I said, not replenishing the dynasty eras with these type of picks outweighs these positives.

    After seeing Bynum’s body in preseason, I was immediately impressed. If I saw it earlier, I wouldn’t have even mentioned Bynum swap for JO. I never supported Bynum + Odom so don’t call me out for that.

    Besides, a DPOY level JO would have helped this team too. JO isn’t up to par yet. He’s putting gradually putting up JO numbers and at higher clip in Dec. 18.9 points at .508 with 2.6 blocks to boot. He ain’t dead.

    Still would trade Odom and pieces for him.

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #20796 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Thank you very much for reminding everyone that opinions based solely on lack of factual knowledge & the bias of emotions is a total waste. Once again, my father pardons the infantile fans of the Lakers. Have a nice weekend! :-D

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #20822 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I never said you said Bynum + LO for for JO.. I said

    “This coming from a guy willing to trade Bynum and our young talent like farmar or critt for JO. You should be thanking Mitch and glad your not the GM.

    Please direct all of you apologies to Mitch. He is the one that deserves them.

  • Rpoc

    [Comment ID #20861 Will Be Quoted Here]
    And you continue to ignore the main point:

    “The blunders he has made outweigh the success now. He inherited a dynasty and botched it. Now he’s trying to make up for that.”

    You’re telling me not drafting the way he has these last 3 years (looking for athleticism and talent) for the past 4 years during the dynasty is enough for an apology?

    Get off your high horse. Bynum took 3 years to get to where he has now. The Lakers HAD A DYNASTY. Are the Spurs still contending for the decade? Yes. That’s where we WERE suppose to be. This was suppose to be a dominant team for the decade like the 80s Lakers or the 90s Trulls.

    I’m happy with Bynum’s development but even a Bynum + Farmar + Filler trade for JO right now isn’t a COMPLETE rip off! As I pointed out, he was recovering from knee surgery and had a slow start. Now he’s gradually putting back his regular numbers in Dec. You think he wouldn’t have impact on this team?

    You make continually make it sound like trading Bynum for JO now would be a COMPLETE rip off. It wouldn’t. It’s not like trading away your promising young player like Butler for a bust like Kwame.

    But it’s better to keep Bynum now BECAUSE of his development spurt. He’s RAPIDLY developing but let’s not forget here, he’s still not at Dwight level yet and doesn’t have enough consistent posts skills to be a 20/10 player yet like Duncan or JO every single night WITHOUT heavy reliance on his teammates. Yet.

    I’m counting on his rapid development to get there.

    And you expect me to apologize to Mitch for not properly handling a dynasty and then finally drafting right and it took 3 YEARS to see it BEGIN (not even in the middle) for it to blossom?

    You must be fraking kidding me.

  • Rpoc

    How about this?

    A pat on a back for not trading Bynum for JO but a punch in the face for not drafting this way in the dynasty days and stupid trades like Butler + Atkins for Kwame which has been way worse than a package of Bynum for JO would have been. A student of Jerry West and it takes him 4 years to get drafting right and another few years to get trading right. (Samb for MO – Cook and Mo for Ariza)

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #20874 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Main point??? did u read what i posted on the 28th??? I answered most of your questions there, but you seem to ignore the facts of what Mitch has done. Keeping Bynum a franchise center more than makes up for the butler trade… you don’t realize what a center like Bynum does for a team. He changes EVERYTHING!!!!! Samb??? Is he starting for the pistons???? First of all, your not thinking right. They traded the 2nd round pic for MO, they didn’t trade Samb. the pistons picked samb.

    The Lakers Dynasty was Cut in Half??? Remember the feud??? Are you freaking kidding me??? After the Detroit series, kobe was a FA. They had to salvage what they could. if shaq stayed kobe is gone. Again your thinking is wrong and illogical. And totally unfair. Stop looking for perfection. Tell me one Gm that hasn’t made a bad trade or bad draft pic. And that gm has been around more than 2 years.

    YOu said, “I’m happy with Bynum’s development but even a Bynum + Farmar + Filler trade for JO right now isn’t a COMPLETE rip off”

    Yes it would be a rip off. Again you don’t know the value of a true center. A true center makes the game much easier for everyone.

    btw kwame is not a bust but he is a serviceable center. Even last night, his post defense is better than Bynum’s and the lakers need that defense for Yao, Duncan, etc… Did the lakers get the best of that trade??? No, but u can’t call it a bust. PJ values kwame and he does contribute on the defensive end. The lakers don’t need offense but defense.

    Yes, you can write your apology write here on this website or at the very least say you are sorry about the Bynum trade because if you were the Gm not only would the lakers be worst currently but their future would be bleak without Bynum and Farmar.

  • Rpoc

    You’re not even making any sense anymore.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #20878 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Typical response when you can’t back it up with any good argument.

  • Rpoc

    [Comment ID #20880 Will Be Quoted Here]
    Self-declared victory isn’t worth much either.

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #20872 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Rpoc: What dynasty are you referring to? Are you talking about the Kobe/Shaq dynasty? If so, you can blame boy wonder Kobe Bryant for destroying that one as he “got tired of being a sidekick” to Shaq. Kobe wanted his own team and he got it. I don’t understand what dynasty you are referring to that Mitch “blotched”. Please explain.

    Bynum for JO would’ve been a completely rip off. JO is one of the most over-rated players in the NBA. He’s a total injury proned player that only had good years when he had Artest, Harrington and Steven Jackson. Now, he’s nothing. JO coming to L.A. would NOT would never have had the impact that Bynum has had or will have as a Laker in the future years. Bynum is a player that could stay with the Lakers and be dominate for the next decade.

    You mention Dwight Howard, and frankly I think Bynum has the potential to be WAY better than Dwight Howard because Howard shows NO signs of a post up game (at least Bynum is showing he can do more than dunk). All Dwight Howard can do offensively is dunk. Like I said, Bynum has shown a few more moves than just dunking.

    Again, please explain this dynasty that Mitch blotched? Are you referring to Fisher going to Golden St. because he was offered more money. Are you referring to Rick Fox retiring? Or are you referring to Horry wanting to go back to Texas to be with his family, which is where he is from? Or are you referring to Karl Malone injuring his knee at the age of 39 (or was it 40) and then Kobe killing that relationship because Kobe thought Malone hit on his wife.

    What dynasty?

  • Rpoc

    Let’s point one thing:

    Cook, Rush, Sasha, Walton, Cook.

    And then look at these type of picks:

    Turiaf, Bynum, Farmar, Wafer, Critt.

    What are the difference between the drafting philosophy then and now? Athleticism and talent. Wafer sucked but he had the right idea.

    What did he miss? Prince and Barbosa. These players fit into the category of what he drafts now.

    Just one of the things he failed at which was replenishing a dyansty with young talent like the Spurs did with Parker with Ginobli to balance the older talent who will eventually age.

    And remember:

    WINNING solves everything. Kobe and Shaq won despite hating each other guts. Problems occurred when they lost.

    Do you hear anything from Kobe this year? No because they are winning.

  • Rpoc

    Excuse me, I mean Sasha instead of Cook twice.

  • Rpoc

    You know what, you two are missing a key component for Bynum’s rapid development on the Lakers:

    Kareem is under contract with the Lakers.

    If he went to the Pacers he would not have had the luxury of having Kareem at every practice at home. (he doesn’t travel with the team)

    Bynum has been improving in the season with Kareem. Remember when he was getting into foul trouble while starting? He talked to Kareem and they adjusted that and he never looked back.

    He also has Kobe being WAY more supportive this season. Bynum said Kobe helped him on what he should do to defend JO while watching tape. He completely stopped him.

    Nevermind the fact the Lakers have multiple people who know how to get the ball to Bynum:

    Kobe and Fisher did it with Shaq. The best out of them.
    Farmar is a point guard to he knows.
    Walton is a system passer.
    Lamar can.
    Critt can but he doesn’t get time.

    He especially benefits from the Kobe/Bynum pick and roll. Who are you gonna sag off? Pick your poison. Pacers don’t have a Kobe.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #20883 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Twenty something Gm’s missed out on barbosa and prince so you don’t have to single out one gm. not logical or fair. Walton was a second round pic…not bad.. and don’t forget rush and walton and cook where drafted during Shaq reign… rush and cook were good shooters and walton very smart player for the tri… things change when you have to move Shaq… wonder why we had to move shaq??? please, who really broke the dynasty…that has been known for awhile now… so really the mistakes of mitch have been more far and in between than on a regular basis. i am still waiting on a gm that hasn’t made a mistake. find any???

    credit the lakers for getting kareem to tutor bynum.. and credit Bynum for working his ass out this summer and don’t credit kobe for wanting to “ship his ass out”. I am not going to credit Bynum for setting the screens for kobe so don’t credit kobe for passing the ball to bynum. It is not easy doing the pic and roll for a big guy. Just ask Kwame. I am not also going to credit bynum even though kobe can get 2-3 assists more a game this yr. because of him. i don’t hear anything from kobe because they are winning and because kobe was wrong about the talent on this team. and so were you.

    YOu can’t replenish a dynasty that was split and crumbled to a 34-48 record. You kinda have to start over. This is not about replenishment, but rebuilding.

    Your right the pacers don’t have a kobe. The pacers also don’t have a Bynum. But if you were the Gm the pacers would have Bynum. GLAD MITCH HIS THE GM AND NOT RPOC. AREN’T YOU????

  • Rpoc

    So what? A bunch of teams missed on Farmar. That logic is poor. You get gems when you scout properly and you have the correct drafting philosophy. When he thinks about getting a system player, he drafted Luke and Walton. When he thought of getting the best athletic talent available, he got Farmar, Turiaf.

    Besides, Barbosa was RECOMMENDED by Harper who was our point guard in the triangle. He said he would fit well. What do the Lakers do? Ignore it and get Cook who’s a system player.

    They didn’t scout Rush and took anyway despite scouting Prince.

    Anyyway you slice it, those two would have developed to help the Lakers.

  • Rpoc

    *Luke and Cook.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #20890 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Exactly a bunch of gm’s missed on farmar so i don’t criticize them for missing out on him neither do I criticize mitch for missing out on prince when a bunch of gm’s also did. you made my pt. your too much into minutiae and can’t see the whole pic… so what.. harper recommended barbosa… we don’t know what else he recommended.. he could have recommended Royal Ivey or Justin Reed… so whats your point??? my point is you can grab any scout or FO personnel who says yeah they should have drafted who i liked, but if you went with everything that guy said, you would be in the lottery. Even the losers get lucky sometime. Mitch is turning out to be a winner with how he is making this team into a contender without the help of kobe or your recommendations.

    Give me one gm that is better than Mitch. Just one out of 30. I am not saying Mitch is the best GM and that is the conclusion you probably are already jumping to but i will show you that that gm has made many mistakes maybe even more so than mitch has.

    ONe GM… Easy enough??? you have a choice of 29 others

  • Rpoc

    How is Barbosa and Prince not thinking about the big picture? Walton and Cook picks aren’t the big picture type of picks.

    The big picture is that the players on your championship team will age, so you better damn well scout well and draft well to increase the possibilities of finding gems to help them in the future to WIN. And especially pay attention to your MLE signings.

    Hey, I know GMs don’t get everything. The Spurs pick of Urdih didn’t turn out too well and he got cut. They got Parker and Gino. Their gems outweight their faulty pick.

    The issue is what Mitch did wrong with drafting wasn’t just missing out, it was the WRONG philosophy. He wanted system role players who can contribute sooner instead of the best pick available with the best potential in terms of IQ, athleticism, and talent.

    You get Sasha, Cook, Walton, Rush because of that.

    The problem with the Rush pick was that he DIDN’T EVEN SCOUT HIM! He listened to the hype when he dropped to him. Genius. If the Magic listened to the hype to take on Okafor instead of Dwight they would have looked like idiots. On the other hand, they were going to pick Prince after SCOUTING him. Too bad they didn’t.

    Sure, Harper may have recommended some other people. However, Barbosa was his MAIN recommendation for THAT pick. So it doesn’t matter if he recommended other people if he said PICK that guy if he’s available. What do the Lakers do instead? Pick Cook who they thought would be ready sooner but had less potential. INSTEAD of Barbosa who’s the big picture player who is more likely to have a better future despite coming in less developed. Like Bynum.

    You’re being hypocritical. You praise him for the picks that he’s making now because of a changed philosophy, but refuse to criticize the picks he missed out because he had a different philosophy back then.

    Then let’s move on to trades.

    The Shaq trade was made because they didn’t have a choice. Ok, I’ll give you that even though Riley said he was extremely happy the Lakers didn’t make too much of an effort to ask for Wade.

    What about the Kwame for Butler trade which was made very quickly in the summer? You would think after the Shaq trade he would learn that panic trades to fill a need isn’t a good thing. He didn’t get any other deals done except McKie after that…. who couldn’t even play.

    Now he’s being extremely careful. He didn’t pull a Artest for Bynum package when he had the chance. He didn’t pull a Kidd for Bynum packaged when he had a chance. He didn’t pull a Odom + Bynum for JO (the only package fraking ass Bird would do) trade when he had a chance. ALL of which I was against and that was good.

    It’s a double-edged sword though. He miss out something because of this extreme caution but so far so good.

    Now he is doing some trades right:

    Samb (2nd round pick) for Mo. Steal.

    Mo and Cook for Ariza. Even more of steal.

    That’s great. It only took him a bunch of years to draft with the RIGHT mentality and philosophy and being more savvy in trades, even if his recent successful ones are minor.

    Missing out on signing Fisher the first time was on him too. They claimed they didn’t want to overpay. Ironically, now he’s willing to give the same contract he refused to Fisher to Vlad and Luke. His MLE signings nothing to praise for either (George–resign , Divac, McKie, Vlad–only acceptable one except his Space Cadet year)

    How about resigning George with the MLE instead of oh, you know…. BIRD RIGHTS so our MLE became wasted that year. That was another brilliant move.

    Hurrah. I’m so glad it took Mitch this long to get things right. /sarcasm

  • ab4sure

    big picture means you have to take into consideration everything not just one trade or one pick. I answered your philosophy question but i guess u just passed it.. remember we did have shaq then..

    i gave reasons for the pics which were sound reasons but the picks were mistakes, yes. HE did make up for the cook one in getting ariza. and as far as the shaq trade he was forced to do that pronto or else you have no kobe on the lakers. And riley never said “the lakers did not make too much effort too ask for wade”. They weren’t getting him period. the lakers were under time pressure. that is getting kobe to sign on the dotted line.

    you speculating that he didn’t scout rush… and how do u know he was listening to the hype…again speculating…

    You said
    He didn’t pull a Odom + Bynum for JO (the only package fraking ass Bird would do) trade when he had a chance. which I was against and that was good.”

    But you were for Bynum, farmar and fillers for JO which would have been very bad. Like less ships bad if any with JO and probably none with you giving up both Bynum and farmar. Remember a dominating big man greater than a very good power forward.

    They were rebuilding when Shaq left and that is why fish was not signed and fish was making 7 mil his last three years on his previous contract.

    Again show me who you would consider a better Gm. I still have not seen your answer to that one. you have 29 choices…

  • Rpoc

    Duh, big picture were those picks. We had Shaq and Kobe so that meant Prince and Barbosa had more time to develop.

    You’re not even getting my point. I already acknowledge GMs make mistakes and pointed out to one of the Spurs mistakes and my beef of Mitch’s drafting mentality. But it continues to fly through your mind. Why should I list another GM when I ALREADY know they have made mistakes. My beef and I REPEAT to you is his PHILOSOPHY, MENTALITY, he had BACK then.

    JO wouldn’t have been a complete rip for this reason: they are contenders with Kobe and Odom in their respective primes.

    There is only ONE true center in the West and that is Yao who is a jumpshooting one. All the others are PF as Cs and that didn’t stop the Spurs from winning or the Boston with Kevin Garnett going on a tear.

    A 20/10 PF DPOY level guy paired up with a 16/10 Odom and Kobe with Fisher back? That’s damn good.

    It’s not like Butler where he turned into an all-star and Kwame is just a role player. Bynum will explode slower on the Pacers while JO is an all-star.

    The Lakers are banking on Bynum doing the same thing Kobe did when he was 21 and that was become a championship player at the age of 20. I have more confidence he can do it now but while I acknowledge this, you should ACKNOWLEDGE that JO/Odom/Kobe with Fisher and other role players (Critt would even get time), are MORE than capable of competing.

    JO is injury prone. Well, so what, so is Kwame and Odom.

  • Rpoc

    To add more to the point of JO/Odom/Kobe, did you expect a trio of Boozer/Okur/Deron + Fisher with a good bench but not strong to go all the way to the WCF last year?

    Especially now that the Spurs, Suns, Mavs, Jazz, Rockets each have some some sign of vulnerability this year?

  • Rpoc


  • ab4sure

    JO would have never been an all star in the west. He would have had to play alot of center on the lakers. They would have had to give up kwame in the trade and they would be left with MIhm.

    Get off your Philosophy kick… just stick to the trades or picks themselves.. we can argue philosophy all nite..socrates or plato.. get my drift??

    That team you suggested with JO would not get by the spurs and would lose alot of depth without farmar. Also subtracting bynum you won’t be better than you are now. JO would have to take to much of a load at center and against the PF’s like duncan he would not be a difference maker.

    Bynum will explode slower on the pacers??? who knows doesn’t matter the real thing is what u gave up in trading him and how valuable he is to the lakers right now.. i would say very valuable.

    Would the lakers compete…yes they would but they would not get by the spurs and it would be questionable if they could get by the suns and mavs without bynum. YOu would have a very good team that would get close but never getting a ship. There are lots of teams like that. What they have now has a legit chance maybe not this year but next.

    of course other gms have made mistakes, i am saying most have made as bad mistakes as Mitch. Again, name me another gm that hasn’t made as many bad mistakes as Mitch. Not one that just got hired.

  • ab4sure

    I guess if you can’t come up with one GM that has made less mistakes than Mitch then you must believe Mitch is the best. Maybe it is time for that Letter to be written??? lol

  • Rpoc

    Wow, now you’re saying JO can’t be an allstar in the West to further your argument. He posted up 20+ points against Amare while gradually recovering and you say he can’t compete here? You’re trying to downplay JO for your argument while I acknowledge Bynum.

    All the Cs except for Yao in the West are PF for the most part. So I’m defnitely not seeing your point of JO not being able to compete.

    Giving up Kwame isn’t the end of the world. The Lakers went 8-2 or something without him.

    The problem is that you’re not getting the drafting philosophy thing so you discount it. If you cannot understand it that’s a BIG problem.

    He wanted mostly system players (thinking they can compete now) instead of potential who would take more time like Barbosa. Like Farmar needed a year, like Bynum needed 2 years, etc.

    Ok, let’s stick to trades even though I already addressed it. He made a panic trade for Shaq because of Kobe. He made a panic trade for Kwame because he thought he would be gone quickly from the market.

    I already addressed JO.

    Yes, Bynum will explode slower on the Pacers because Kareem is under contract with the Lakers. The mistakes he made this year were correct by Kareem’s practicing with him. Who’s going to that on the Pacers? Tinsley?

    I have more faith in Kobe with Fisher and talent against an aging Spurs with Phil as the coach who is experienced against them.

  • Rpoc


  • Rpoc

    [Comment ID #20911 Will Be Quoted Here]
    See, you’re sounding like of those people who scream at people faces saying AM I RIGHT?! AM I RIGHT?! OH HE DIDN’T ANSWER SO I AM RIGHT. That doesn’t mean you win you know.

    Oh, and since you’re so adamant about naming a GM. Spurs GM from 1999 to now.

    I already know what he did but go ahead and knock yourself out.

  • Rpoc

    Man I am still floored by you saying JO can’t be an all-star in the West on the Lakers!!! That was great.

    I guess I should just end the argument as my win with that statement. But I won’t because I don’t think like that.

  • ab4sure

    is or was JO better than KG or TD??? No way, one game against amare hardly a fair sample. I never said not compete…compete yes allstar in the West NO. Tell PJ that Kwame isn’t valuable.

    How well Bynum would do with the pacers is not relevant. What is relevant is how much the lakers would lose without him.

    Isn’t it funny, you can nit pick and complain about Mitch Kupchak and his actions as a Gm and YET you can’t name one GM that has made less mistakes than Mitch, can you???

  • Rpoc

    Oh the irony of saying tell PJ that Kwame isn’t useful.

    He didn’t think Bynum was until he made strides. Still to this day he does his jabs to the media. Bynum is regressing, Kwame will be starter once he comes back, Bynum needs to stay to course because the organization bent over themselves to pamper him.

    Wrong guy to use for your argument if you’re a fan of AB.

    Um yeah, well they do lose the future, but they do receive the chance to contend with Kobe in his prime along with JO in his prime along with Odom in his prime. What’s wrong with that? I like competing for titles. Jazz went all the way to the WCF with less. They stood no chance against the Spurs but the Lakers with Kobe and this group do.

    Unless you are getting delirious from blindly arguing, I already said Spurs GM from 1999. In case you don’t know his name, which I’m assuming so, RC Buford. I said go knock yourself out.

    Besides, it’s not simply nitpicking when that big thing, you know his mentality of drafting happened over the course of 4 years. I guess 4 years isn’t long enough for you.

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    [Comment ID #20919 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Rpoc – After reading you and AB4sure going back and forth, I have to say, you are in the wrong for many things (not to mention you never answered MY question about what dynasty Mitch “botched up”).

    JO would not have done much with the Lakers or in the West for that matter. Yea, he had one good game against Amare, but Amare is a terrible defender, which is now proven. JO in the east does not have to go against the multiple power forwards/centers in the west such as Yao, Dirk, Duncan, Boozer, Amare and others, more than twice a year. In the East, JO is a semi-dominant big man because there are no major “bigs” in the east (other than Bosh and now Garnett, who are dominant big men in the east?). JO would NOT have been in all-star in the west. Furthermore, at the age of 20 Bynum is going to be far more productive for MORE YEARS than JO.

    You mentioned earlier that the Butler/Kwame trade was done out of “panic” by Mitch (I completely disagree with this). The Lakers were NOT going to resign Caron Butler anyways (they stated this) and were in need of a power forward. Caron was going into the last year of his contract and because the Lakers had LO to play the small forward (his “natural position” as some have said), Caron was expendable because he too played the small forward (last year of contract and redundancy in the SF position). These are reasons why the traded him for Kwame. Kwame was brought in to be the Lakers power forward, but because he can’t play too far away from the rim he couldn’t play the power forward and was more comfortable at the center position. The Caron/Kwame trade was a gamble that backfired, but the goal of trying to obtain a big man was the correct thinking.

    With regards to the Spurs GM, he too has made draft picks that fallen through such as Udrih, and now Darius Washington. The only pick that he made that was a “sure thing” was Duncan, but any team would’ve drafted Duncan so let’s not give him too much credit for drafting well (Duncan was the overall #1 pick). As for Tony Parker, yes the Spurs drafted him, but don’t forget the Spurs wanted to GET RID of Tony Paker after his first year. The Spurs were trying to get Jason Kidd in 2002 because they didn’t think Parker could cut it as the starting point guard. Fortunately for them, they could not acquire Kidd so they were stuck with Parker which turned out to be a good thing for them. As for Ginobili, he was the 57th overall player taken in the 1999 draft, so ALL teams had a shot at him.

    As for other players the Spurs got, let’s not give Buford that much credit. Michael Finley fell into their laps because he was waived by Dallas as their exemption waiver (remember as per the league’s labor agreement, a team would waive a player for luxury tax relief purposes). Robert Horry too fell into their laps because he wanted to play for a Texas team as his family resides in Houston so natually he choose the Spurs because they were consistently winning with Duncan and Parker. Brent Barry is another player they acquired in free agency but for the last 2 years they have been trying to trade him. Don’t get me wrong, Buford has done a decent job but in my opinion who has done better is the Dallas GM (although they have not won anything, look how deep that team is) and the New Orleans GM (NO was nothing until they drafted Chris Paul and stole Tyson Chandler from the Bulls and acquired Stojakovic).

    I think Mitch has done a great job of drafting however, the one area that Mitch has yet to really do anything with is sign a major free agent, but then again the Lakers have been strapped by the cap salary and are only able to offer the MLE, which no major free agent is going to want to take.

  • 187 on boston

    never will i praise a goofy ass punk

  • ab4sure

    well the delay was to a computer crash last night, but hopefully this is posted.

    Don’t mistake PJ’s motivation techniques like bynum regressing or even calling walton wally pipp for what he thinks of the talent or quality of play for the individual. Don’t confuse PJ’s mind games. They are for motivation not evaluation.

    Also the lakers are competing for titles not wcf. With what they have now they are a top 5 team. With your JO team they are maybe a top 10 team. Big difference!!!!!

    as far as buford, you mentioned him but did not say he was the gm that made less mistakes than mitch. Good choice. spurs have won 4 ships in 9 yrs. It is good to be lucky to. Lucky to have robinson hurt so that they could get a lucky bounce in the lottery. Duncan the easy pic at one. Not a bad team to build around. That is like having shaq fall into your lap. Then he made to good draft pics… ginobli and parker.. late rounders…there you have your spurs dynasty. Could he have done better??? Well, he passed on barbosa..oh no.. but you will give him a pass…in fact the spurs actually chose barbosa for the suns…lol… then buford also made another mistake that cost the spurs another championship in 2006. He passed on Josh Howard. What a stupid GM!!!(not really but I am trying to judge the guy the way you judge Mitch, unfairly and expect perfection) This Buford guy cost the spurs a championship by not drafting howard and they would be clear favorites this year with howard. Can you also picture a back court of barbosa and parker??? Talk about lightning… And then we get to Scola.. wtf trading him to a rival no less. This guy who led Argentine basketball team and is better than oberto. Man this guy should be fired. There are other things but considering my computer might crash i will save for later.

    The main point is you judge Mitch’s GM skills unfairly. I just gave some serious mistakes for a GM and he basically cost his team a championship in 2006 by not drafting barbosa or howard. But I know a gm’s ability is not measured by a draft pic here or a trade their but is he building a winner. After the three year “dynasty” was split by two selfish players…Shaq and Kobe… i do blame both, Mitch had to rebuild this team. We are into the fourth year since Shaq/KOBE Fiasco.. and the lakers are on the verge of being an elite team. Don’t forget they had to gut their most dominant center and PJ had to go. To come back from this and see the team where they are at, not too mention kobe’s tirade this summer which Mitch handled with professionalism, and was the main person in the FO who did not just want to ship kobe ass out, but really kept him in a laker uniform.


  • Rpoc

    “Spurs wanted to GET RID of Tony Paker after his first year. The Spurs were trying to get Jason Kidd in 2002 because they didn’t think Parker could cut it as the starting point guard. Fortunately for them, they could not acquire Kidd so they were stuck with Parker which turned out to be a good thing for them. As for Ginobili, he was the 57th overall player taken in the 1999 draft, so ALL teams had a shot at him.”

    If you say there are flaws in my argument, I can say there are is in stuff like this. So they did. While not entirely the same, but the Lakers tried to get KG by offering Odom and Bynum. They didn’t and now he’s blossoming and turning out to be a good thing.

    Finley fell into their laps? How about Fisher falling into Mitch laps.

    LakersFirst (Change) (Close), you’re more level headed that ab here. I have absolutely no problem with the way Mitch has been drafting the last 3 years except the Yue pick instead of Byars, but that’s no big deal now. I did have a problem each time I hear Cook’s name, Sasha’s name, etc. Barbosa completely resembles the players he drafts now.

    To make it clear, happy with his drafting style for 3 years. Unhappy for 4 years.

    The group that was happy about his 4 years of drafting and believed in the potential of Cook, Sasha to be big (I know Laker fans did during those years), than I most definitely will never convince such a group as demonstrated with ab.

    While I understand Bynum will have more years and he has demonstrated he can compete sooner than later, you’re not giving a fair shake what JO can do now.

    Did I miss something or does JO or does he not have to go through guys like Bosh, Rasheed, Dwight, KG in the East?

    How about Amare’s stats in the playoffs against Duncan? (especially the year before his surgery) Does that mean Duncan is a terrible defender? No. Can JO score against Duncan? He can. If you don’t believe he can on this Laker team, then you’re being stubborn. Is he a better defender than Amare? Yes.

    Would he benefit from playing with Kobe and Odom? A big YES. Would he benefit from the easy points like Bynum gets here per game? An even bigger YES. Stars help each other out. AI-Melo. KG-Allen-Pierce.

    What does JO have in the Pacers? He’s the only all-star up there.

    By the time JO is past his prime, so is Kobe, Odom is nearing it too.

    You should also take into consideration the situation Bynum has on the Pacers and what he has here. If Bynum was exploding slower on the Pacers while the Lakers were competing with JO, Kobe, and Odom in his prime.

    But enough of this argument. I can see that you won’t acknowledge JO can do anything in the West while I do. You won’t convince me otherwise and I can’t with you.

    As for Butler and his extension. So they weren’t going to sign him. The problem here was that he traded for Kwame relatively early in the summer. It’s not like Butler’s contract was going to go away in a few months of the start of the summer. When you pull your trigger that fast, the probability of this is higher like the Shaq trade. Different circumstances but similar results. Mitch tried to get Kwame before any serious bidders could take place.

    He got him but at a high price.

    If he thought Kwame could play PF or any of you guys did, NO ONE must have even watched him. Not Mitch, not Phil, not Laker fans, not anyone in Lakerland. Probably just youtube highlights.

    Kwame was already too big unlike his first years in the NBA to play PF during the year the Lakers traded for him. He couldn’t take anyone off the dribble. That and his inconsistent jumper (now non-existent).

    I know some DC Laker fans were angry at this trade. Rightfully so. They ACTUALLY watched him play. Just like we were happy to let Cook go, so were the Wiz fans.

    And it does not have to a big free agent to use your MLE well. Fisher got MLE the first time for GS. But whatever, the Lakers also had that ridiculously silly 2007 plan that hindered how many years they were willing to sign a guy. That got them McKie and it’s 2007 with that plan a failure, as predicted.

  • ab4sure

    Its not about being not being happy four years and happy three years its about seeing it in perspective with the circumstances surrounding everything. Four years they had Shaq the last 3 yrs they didn’t.

    Your thinking about JO being an all star first of all kg just came east and D. howard and bosh are very young. It has been a few years when JO has been on his game and these guys either weren’t here or had not yet developed. And PLease don’t compare Duncan with JO. The only way JO scores on Duncan regularly is when Duncan helps out on D and JO is left alone. YOur still hoping for JO way too much.

    Give up on this Bynum exploding with the pacers. The issue is Bynum is way more valuable to the lakers right now than JO. With JO the lakers are a top ten team and not winnging the title. With Bynum they are a top 5 team with a chance to win the title maybe not this year but next. LET GO OF JO. i acknowlegde he makes them better but not championship better.

    Again, regards about kwame…you think they just watch youtube highlights…they didn’t scout him well enough.. Please your condescension toward the FO is way over the top. Kwame was a mistake but like i said what gm doesn’t make a mistake. Buford once had raja bell but gave up on him….so he had barbosa, howard and bell and still he is considered a great gm despite having duncan in his lap who is the best team player today and who has willed his team to win 4 titles.

    I think Kobe has given up playing Gm maybe you should too. The lakers are on the verge to becoming that elite team and if they would have followed your advice then they would have never make it to that level.

    RPOC, you always have some other point to make about how the FO screwed up and when we answer that point logically you usually never come back to it. Hopefully you will have a fairer more realistic outlook on what the FO is doing. Kobe is coming to the realization the FO knows what they are doing…Maybe you should too, don’t you think????

  • Rpoc

    Mm yeah, the Lakers scouts on Kwame were right on. Just like Orlando’s GM saying Cook is a tough defensive presence for them…. Teams don’t always get it right. Like when the Lakers didn’t even scout Rush when they drafted him.

    You underrate what JO can do on this team with the easy opportunities Bynum gets and we can just agree to disagree about that.

    You don’t see that the 4 years problem piled on to the Shaq-Kobe feud.

    Especially in 2004 when they were left without a bench in the Finals. Malone injuring himself was the nail in the coffin. It was amazing they got to the Finals in the first place with all the turmoil and little help.

    When Horry shot a horrendous percentage in 2003 in the playoffs from 3 point land and missed his usual clutch shot. They didn’t keep him fresh.

    But let’s go back to 2002 where they almost lost to the Queens and their depth. That should have been a warning sign already.

    The drafting decisions back then, the signings, etc. played a part in the Shaq-Kobe divorce. It didn’t play into everything but it most definitely played a part.

    No, I stand by everything I said.

    Today’s game showed some signs of Bynum’s young age. I.e. Sticking your hand out for Perkin’s to draw a foul instead of putting it up in the air. They were also denying the lob lanes which Bynum is heavily relying on.

    Bynum still needs to bulk up on his base to deal with physical big guys like Perkins.

    And I don’t think Kobe has given up on being a GM. He hasn’t even rescinded his trade demand and I don’t he will ever do that unless the Lakers win a championship. If things go sour and the winning stops, you’ll see his antics again. He’s ok as long as you win. I have no problem with that. It’s a mutual relationship. No love-love.

    Remember last season he was high fiving teammates, extremely happy about their results, and proud of them with a 26-13 record. That went to the drain when they lost.

    He’s not a good example to use.

  • ab4sure

    No one said kwame was a bad trade. Get off that. You have a fixation on that. Just don’t go saying they didn’t look at kwame, that is ignorant. Why the hell didn’t Buford scout howard, barbosa well, why did he let Scola and Bell go.

    Underrating JO??? Bynum + farmar is >> JO. That is my point. Lakers are better not trading. Bynum affects a game much more than JO does. IN fact Bynum>>JO. Why make the lakers worst by trading just bynum for JO??

    Your really going on tangent on horry and the finals bench and i don’t have time to waste on that.

    Sounds like you would still trade bynum for JO. Your perspective on what builds a good team to what builds a great team is skewed. Getting JO would still be a good team. Keeping Bynum keeps a good team that could become great. For all Mitch has had to deal with, shaq kobe…losing the best center in the nba, the summer turmoil and having to rebuild a team with basically just kobe… he has done a pretty good job. And just remember if you were the Gm the lakers future would not be so bright and they would be hanging around mediocrity.

  • ab4sure

    correct that… nobody said kwame wasn’t a bad trade.

  • ab4sure

    I think this question needs to be asked again especially to the ones who have dissed Mitch on this post.