Daily News: While the general manager of the Lakers, Mitch Kupchak, is working feverishly these tense hours to retain a vital member of his world championship team – Lamar Odom – he admits he hasn’t had time for a reflective perspective of the past season’s success.

While Kupchak now can claim nine title rings on his resume – three as a player – it’s indisputable that the latest is the first one as a Lakers executive in which the large shadow of Jerry West hasn’t haunted him.

After all, when Kupchak succeeded West after the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant Lakers won their first NBA title in 2000, the foundation of the team that would wind up winning three in a row was laid by West with his acquisitions of O’Neal and Bryant.

It would be West who would receive the credit for such an achievement, and it would be Kupchak who would receive the blame when the Lakers struggled so badly after O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat that Bryant even publicly censured Kupchak and expressed a desire to depart the team.

But that was in the long ago past before Kupchak pulled off his Pau Gasol heist with the Memphis Grizzlies and brought in people like Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown and Josh Powell, each of whom made vital contributions during the Lakers’ playoff run.

Continue reading ‘Kupchak emerges from West’s shadow’

  • celticpride

    Danny Ainge is waaaaaaaaaaay way better than mitch…. Garnett is Doc Rivers outcoached phil jackson 08 finals…better than Pau… and of course paul pierce is way way better than KOBE… celtics next year.. go gogogogogogo green

  • celticpride

    Danny Ainge is waaaaaaaaaaay way better than mitch….Doc Rivers outcoached phil jackson 08 finals…..Garnett is better than Pau….
    and of course paul pierce is way way better than KOBE… celtics next year.. go gogogogogogo green

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #79502 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Typical Suckdic fan.

    Ainge is a hack. KG was gift given by Frankenstein Kevin McHale. All Ainge could produce this offseason so far is Rasheed Wallace (a man past his prime). HAHAHAHA. That’s funny. Who does Mitch go and get instead? RON ARTEST.

    Doc Rivers outcoached Phil. HAHAHAHAH. That’s funny. What was Doc Rivers coaching record prior to receiving the gifts of Garnett and Allen? Yes, you guessed it…it was SH*T. Everyone in the NBA knows that coaching the Suckdics with KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce is the easiest coaching gig in the league. I mean I can coach that team and the team would still do well.

  • jayballa545

    “Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown and Josh Powell, each of whom made vital contributions during the Lakers’ playoff run”

    sorry writer, but ummmmm… Only Trevor made “vital” contributions during our run. get the story straight…..

  • shakobe

    Mitch Might be good in getting talent but he sucks at contract negotiations…. Mitch needs to grow some ballz….. and stop hiding behind Jim Buss……