Lakers General Manager, Mitch Kupchak, joined the Dan Patrick show this morning and discussed the Mike Brown hiring, and the process that the Lakers used to find the successor to Phil Jackson.
Kupchak confirmed that the Lakers formally interviewed three candidates, but would not go into specifics of who those candidates were. Looking at previous reports, one could assume it was Rick Adelman, Brian Shaw, and Mike Brown.
When asked why Brian Shaw did not get the job Mitch Kupchak said the following:
It’s not so much that we chose not to hire Brian [Shaw], because he’s not qualified. I think our feeling going into it was that we thought we just needed a new voice with this team, the old staff had been with us for almost 11 years, and we didn’t end the season as strongly as we had hoped.We just felt it was time for a change.
Kupchak also spoke about Mike Brown’s coaching experience, when asked why Brown was the man for the job:
He has great experience at the NBA level, coaching with Rick Carlisle in Indiana, [Greg] Popovich in San Antonio, and then he was a head coach in Cleveland and had great success. So we feel we got somebody that has great pedigree, [and is] experienced at the head coaching level. The interview itself was very upbeat, you don’t judge a candidate on an interview, you look at the whole body of work, but I will say in the interview, [Brown] came through as a very energetic, enthusiastic person.
Kupchak also confirmed that Kobe Bryant was not consulted in any part of the process.
When asked who made the decision Kupchak said, “Ownership always has the final say, and that’s Dr.Jerry Buss.” Adding that Mike Brown was the unanimous choice between Jerry Buss, (Son) Jim Buss, and Mitch Kupchak.
Kupchak did not rule out the possibility of Brian Shaw being on Mike Brown’s coaching staff. “That’s going to be up to Mike Brown, we will have some say, but we will defer to Mike Brown. Kupchak added, “He will be the person that determines who is on his coaching staff.”
Another interesting story that Kupchak mentioned was that after the Lakers got swept by the Mavericks, Phil Jackson and Kupchak looked at each other, and Jackson told Kupchak, “I felt I had to come back [this season], three in a row was just too much to pass on, but maybe I did the wrong thing”
For the entire interview with Dan Patrick and Mitch Kupchak you can download it on our partners website, AM570 KLAC (Fox Sports LA)