Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak’s Comment About Being Impatient Don’t Add Up

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke more candidly than usual in a recent radio interview, but his comments still do not explain the perplexing decision to hire Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson.

Kupchak spoke with bestselling author John Feinstein on CBS Radio and discussed recently deceased Lakers owner Jerry Buss. CBS Sports’ Royce Young provided the following quote from the interview:

The one thing that was a big factor is our lack of patience. When we made the changes we made in the offseason, we really did it with a two- or maybe even a three-year window, probably a two-year window to do our best and win a championship. And clearly we knew Dr. Buss was not in great health, and we were hoping for the next year or two we could put something on the court that would result in being in the hunt at the end of the year for a championship.


Kupchak suggested that Dr. Buss’ failing health was a major factor in management’s decision-making. It ultimately contributed to the front office propagating a win-now mentality and trusting veterans to lead the team to a championship.

It also caused Kupchak to have little patience with Mike Brown’s 1-4 start, leading to a coaching change just 12 days after the season started.

The comments offered a fascinating inside look into the mindset of the Lakers’ brass during one of the most unexpected seasons the franchise has ever experienced. Kupchak is often cryptic and dismissive in interviews, but in this instance, he offered genuine statements about how much Dr. Buss meant to him and the team.

Buss was a Titan of professional sports, as well as a friend and a mentor to Kupchak. The general manager’s open admission that his boss’ failing healthy very much affected the mindset of him and other front office employees was refreshing.

But it still doe...

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