Author: Michael Texidor | Twitter: @0neMik3
Subject: Fans Will Once Again Count On Mitch Kupchak
After a horrendous season, undoubtedly one of the worst in Lakers’ history, many questions surfaced about who’s to blame. Dwight? D’Antoni?
One thing is certain; basketball is a team sport, so it is everyone’s fault.
Yes, we can blame it all on injuries. Kobe, Blake, Hill, Nash, Pau, Metta…heck even D’Antoni had a bum knee. However, a team wins as a team or loses as a team.
We can all agree on one thing. The Lakers will rightfully return to their place among the greats. Why? It’s because the Lakers have one of the best GMs in NBA history. Yes ladies and gentleman, Mitch Kupchak is the one.
Mitch has always put the best talent out on the court; he has always given us the best chance to win. Although it didn’t happen this year, the Lakers sure had the weapons to do so.
“Championship or bust” has always been the motto for the Lakers in the Buss family era, and believe me, Mitch is well aware.
As we look back through the years, we can see how the moves that Mitch has made to strengthen the roster and transform the Lakers organization year after year, season after season has extended the tradition of the Lakers and has fed the Lakers’ culture of succeeding at the highest level.
Mitch’s first BIG acquisition was when he brought in Hall of Famers Karl Malone and Gary Payton (who had both failed to win a NBA championship in their career prior to joining the Lakers). That 2003-2004 season was very similar to this past season, as they were both teams built with an amazing amount of talent that fell short of expectations.
Mitch was the one that decided to trade All-Star and future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant, which was a trade that some people were convinced was made in the best interest of Kobe Bryant (Mitch denies such reports).
In 2005, Andrew Bynum was drafted 10th overall with many hopes to be the next Shaq and another dominant center for the Lakers. Bynum was is a 7’0”, 285lb giant, who had the skills and potential to reach those colossal heights that were set before him (although he was very young – drafted out of high school). The road was rough with Bynum on the team, and he turned out to be very injury prone, which hurt the Lakers too often.
At one instance, Mitch turned down a trade offer that would potentially bring in Jason Kidd for Andrew Bynum. Bynum was Mitch’s “project,” and he wasn’t ready to give up on it just yet. He stuck with it, and in the long run, the team would find themselves hoisting up two NBA championship trophies in 2009 and 2010 due to the addition of another trade acquisition by Mitch, Pau Gasol.
During Mitch’s helm so far, he has been able to bring in players like Trevor Ariza, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest (better known as Metta World Peace), Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and former All-Star and Sixth Man of the Year, Antawn Jamison. Mitch Kupchak would have landed All-Star Chris Paul if not for the veto by NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The Lakers organization is built to win and win now, and although that sometimes isn’t always the case at the end of the season, that is the viewpoint that shared by many, including the fans. Mitch Kupchak has delivered every year. Lakers fans can be rest assured that he will come through with nothing less for next season.
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