Blog Entry

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

Posted on: February 20, 2012 9:58 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 11:10 pm
By Matt Moore 

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak release a statement Monday night in response to comments from Kobe Bryant that the team should decide whether to trade Pau Gasol or not. The statement, via Lakers PR:

“As a former player, I understand how the days leading up to the trade deadline can be nerve-wracking for an NBA player.  Nonetheless, as General Manager of the Lakers, I have a responsibility to ownership, our fans and the players on this team to actively pursue opportunities to improve the team for this season and seasons to come.  To say publicly that we would not do this would serve no purpose and put us at a competitive disadvantage.  Taking such a course of action at this time would be a disservice to ownership, the team and our many fans."

So, in short, to respond to Bryant's request that the Lakers make a decision one way or another, Lakers' management's response is essentially: "No." 

As our own Ben Golliver said Sunday night: 
It goes without saying that public pressure from a superstar on management is less than ideal for the Lakers, who dropped to 18-13 with the loss on Sunday. Bryant seems to be giving his endorsement to Gasol and seeking the same from Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, an action which would essentially handcuff the Lakers at next months trade deadline. Other than Gasol and franchise center of the future Andrew Bynum, there's not a true trade asset on the roster, although the Lakers do possess a trade exception generated by the Lamar Odom dump to the Dallas Mavericks.

In other words, a definitive public statement on Gasol's future would really paint the Lakers into a corner. Its a nice thing for Bryant to say and it might make Gasol feel better, but there are two dualling goals here -- getting Gasol comfortable and doing whatever it takes to upgrade the Lakers roster -- and its impossible for Lakers management to do both right now.
via Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol trade limbo must end -

And it is. Kupchak is essentially making it clear that there's no much he can do. He has to keep taking calls. If the Lakers want the speculation to stop, they have to win a lot more than they have been, have to play much better than they have been.

The speculation will not stop, the Lakers will not put any player above the organization (it has only done that once, with Magic Johnson, the greatest player in team history, and has conversely ended relationships with Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O'Neal acrimoniously), and Gasol will remain on the block.

But responding publicly to this mess indicates an entirely new level of strife in Lakerland. The General Manager felt the need to issue a public statement regarding the franchise player's comments about another player's trade situation. That's not good. The Lakers could rally, could make a run, could put all this behind them. But times are stressful in Hollywood right now, and that seems obvious. 


Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:49 pm

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

kobe needs to realize, he is an employee, NOT AN OWNER!

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:27 pm

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

Kobe for Deron?  Someone who can score and distribute the rock.  Hell, give them Metta as well!  LOL

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:02 am

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

I know people will always hate on Kobe, but let's give him some credit for a change.  Some fans call him selfish, ballhog, and not a team leader.  By standing up for Gasol he basically shot all of that down.  Pau has a fragile mentality and wears his feelings on his shoulders.  Remember when everyone was calling him soft?  K. Perkins threw him around the paint like a rag doll in the Finals when we lost to the Celtics.  He has really bounced back from that since then.  Kobe is right on this one; with Bynum, Gasol, and himself they have the foundation to get out of the West right now.  You can't get rid of any of those 3 guys and expect to win this season no matter who you bring in.  What really messed up this team was the Odom trade.  To get rid of the 6th man of the year and a guy who can play 4 positions and guard all 5 positions and get NOTHING in return really set this team back.  There isn't another Odom-type player available.  What we really need is a serviceable PG (JR Smith) and an athletic wing.  We better do something now because in 3 years we are going to have a dominant center (Bynum), a 37 year old broken down legend (Kobe) AND NO DRAFT PICKS!!!!  Win now, because we don't have a future.

Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:50 am

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

No wait. Mitch Kupcake? Please don't trade Walton. He's the glue that keeps the pine from splintering. Just gotta elbow him every now and then to make sure he's awake! 

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:47 am

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

LakerDukeYanks :

Your favorite teams are the New York Giants, Dallas Mavericks, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins. Bandwagon fans are the worst and you are their King.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:42 am

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

I do not see anything wrong with what Kobe has said.  Gasol is obviously distracted and Kobe wants to win.  Kobe want's Gasol to play with his heart instead of worrying about being traded or not.   Kobe want's management to make a decision sooner than later to whether or not Gasol will be with the team in the future.

This is being blown way out of proportion just because most people dislike Kobe.

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:49 pm

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

The Lakers should trade Kobe away to the Magic for Dwight Howard and a draft pick.  That way the Lakers won't have to worry about Kobe getting upset and hurting the feelings of the team and Laker management.  With the three legends listed, the Lakers acrimoniously cut ties with three players responsible for nine championships.

Not only did the Lakers take good care of Magic Johnson, they also took care of AC Green, Phil Jackson, James Worthy and Michael Cooper.  It is debatable whether the Lakers treat everyone like family, but they do put winning ahead of everything else and that was what an organization is supposed to do. 

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:43 pm

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

Kobe, shut the Hell up. Take your 20 million, give 10% to your agent, 50% of what's left and give it to your Ex and take that and pay your taxes and SHUT THE HELL UP! Should be enough to get it "Your Way" at Burger King.

Since: May 4, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:25 pm

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

Thank you Mitch KupCake! Get it done or get of the pot! Money mouth

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