There was no better teacher for Kupchak in terms learning the ropes in order to take over for arguably one of the toughest jobs in the NBA as general manager for the Los Angeles Lakers.
As a result of West’s brilliant mentoring, Kupchak has become one of the best GMs in the game today.
After acquiring Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks over the summer, it’s hard to argue that Kupchak is not in the league’s elite class at his position, but the former player turned GM isn’t completely satisfied.
During an interview with Sam Amick of SI.com, the Lakers GM was asked how content he is about the Lakers’ new starting five:
A perfect example is that a lot of people say, “Hey, Mitch, you’ve got a great starting five, are you worried about anything or could you possibly wish for anything more?” And the first thing that comes to my mind is, “Yeah, I wish they were all 25.” That’s how I look at things. Yeah, it’s a great group, but I wish they were younger.
After landing Nash in a sign-and-trade with the division rival Phoenix Suns, the consensus around the league was that the Lakers had vastly improved their roster with arguably one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game. Even though Nash was a huge upgrade in the backcourt, the fact that the two-time NBA MVP is set to turn 39 in February made a lot of people wonder how much the veteran has left in the tank.
Along with Nash’s advanced age, the Lakers also have three other players in the starting lineup over 32 in Kobe Bryant (34), Pau Gasol (32) and Metta World Peace (32). Howard is by far the youngest of the bunch at 26-years-old.
There’s no doubt that the Lakers’ starting five is as talented as it gets in the NBA with current and former All-Stars across the board, but the age factor might take the bulk of the blame if this team can’t succeed next season.
The pressure will be on the team and coaching staff right out of the gate with high expectations. Nothing less than a trip to the NBA Finals will suffice and expectations might even be higher if this revamped squad is as good as they look on paper throughout the regular season.
In case you missed it – Dwight Howard talks about starting over in Los Angeles.