Press Enterprise: Mitch Kupchak stood tall, his 6-foot-10 frame hovering. There was no sign of stress in his face from a summer in which his superstar player criticized the entire Lakers organization, in which he was unable to pull off the mega-deal and in which he was widely criticized by the fans and media.
It’s all part of being the general manager of the Lakers. It’s all part of sitting in one of the hottest seats in professional sports. It’s all part of what comes with his job.
The burden is heavy for Kupchak, but he feels as if he’s up to the task, as if he is prepared for all the arrows that come his way.
“I feel the pressure to be patient and not to jump and react to comments that people make, either fans or TV people or radio people out of frustrations,” Kupchak said. “They are trying to do their job and create interest.
“So I just have to exercise restraint and I just try to take a step back and have a reasonable approach to what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense to this team, versus having a knee-jerk reaction.”
The Lakers lost in the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and the fans and media were clamoring for change.
Kobe Bryant, the team’s star player, also demanded a change. He went public after the playoff defeat, questioning the team’s commitment to building a contender.