Lakers and GM Mitch Kupchak Agree to Multiyear Contract Extension

As speculation about the status of head coach Mike D'Antoni reaches a fever pitch, the Los Angeles Lakers secured the future of at least part of their brain trust on Tuesday.'s Ramona Shelburne reported the Lakers and general manager Mitch Kupchak have come to terms on a multiyear contract extension. Particulars of the deal have not been disclosed, but the Lakers later confirmed the extension to their own beat reporter, Mike Trudell:

Kupchak, 59, has served in the Lakers' front office since his retirement in 1986. He's been the team's general manager since taking over for Jerry West, while working with the NBA legend to craft a multi-championship core. First with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant and then Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Kupchak era is among the most fruitful in franchise history.

Of course, Kupchak's extension comes amid arguably the single worst season in team history. Los Angeles went into Tuesday night's game against the Houston Rockets with a 25-52 record, on the precipice of setting a single-season loss record. Only the Utah Jazz have a worse record among Western Conference teams.

With injuries to Bryant, Gasol, Steve Nash and others, neither Kupchak nor D'Antoni can be blamed entirely for the lost season. As Nash noted to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

With the amount of injuries and the rebuilding and the evaluating different players, I don't know that any coach is going to be real successful this season. John Wooden is not going to be dealt a great hand with all the change and injuries we've had. You look at it every week, someone else goes down.

But Kupchak is also the man who helped orchestrate the deals to put them in this bind. He was integral to the Dwight Howard one-and-done mess, the now-horrific Nash contract and even the Bryant extension, which is already looking like an albatross.

Given the uncertainty of...

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