Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Says Lakers Won’t Tank This Season Reviewed by Momizat on . The Lakers are going through one of their toughest seasons in recent memory. Expectations were already low with such a young, unproven team, but with the number The Lakers are going through one of their toughest seasons in recent memory. Expectations were already low with such a young, unproven team, but with the number Rating: 0
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Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Says Lakers Won’t Tank This Season

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Mitch KupchakThe Lakers are going through one of their toughest seasons in recent memory. Expectations were already low with such a young, unproven team, but with the number of injuries the Lakers have suffered this season, it is beginning to seem likely that the Lakers will return to the lottery for the first time since 2005.

Of course, with a draft as highly touted as this one, many believe that is a good thing. In fact many are calling for the Lakers to ‘tank’ in order for them to improve their chances at landing a top pick in this draft. Mitch Kupchak, however, says that is not going to happen as reported by the LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan:

Kupchak is obviously against the practice of making the team worse and he is not alone as Kobe Bryant has also spoken negatively about tanking and its effects on the culture of the organization. Even when the Lakers were attempting to trade away Pau Gasol, they were insistent on getting a player who could help the team now as opposed to just the salary cap relief of waiving Andrew Bynum.

Many teams in the league have obviously given up on the season and are positioning themselves to improve in the offseason, but the Lakers are not like every other team. There is sense of pride and mystique about the Lakers and doing something like tanking would go against everything that Dr. Buss built over the last three decades.

It is this mindset that separates the Lakers from every other team in the NBA. The Lakers don’t operate under the same rules as everyone else and that is why they are the Lakers.


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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 881
  • Lakers Fan

    They aren’t tanking. They are simply losing games and will continue to lose games. Injuries, poor play, poor defense, inconsistency, lack of leadership, questionable decisions by the FO, and bad rotations are the reasons the Lakers are losing. So sorry Mitch, D’Antoni IS a part of the problems that currently reside within this Lakers team. He doesn’t deserve all the blame, but his rotations hasn’t exactly helped this team win winnable games. There is no need to tank when this team will lose games regardless.

    • Gregory Choa

      …his rotations??? Dude, he’s playing whichever healthy bodies he has! (except perhaps for Kaman, although that guys hasn’t exactly been the model of health either…)

      • Lakers Fan

        He didn’t play Marshall until Xavier got injured. He won’t let Kaman crack the rotation for whatever reasons unknown. He gave Shawn Williams minutes that he clearly didn’t deserve. There are games where he would pull out the hot hand, the Toronto game for example when he pulled Xavier in the 4th and put Kobe in killing the momentum they had going. D’Antoni is playing all his healthy bodies?? Kaman’s not injuried RIGHT NOW, so why isn’t he playing? Like I said, he is bad with his rotations.

        • Jim213

          Proud of your growth, Lakers Fan. :( ::::::

        • Daryl Peek

          Really?!? Your gonna complain about not playing a player (Marshall) who knew nothing about the system or the players on the team? The coach barely knew his name. SMH

          • Lakers4ever

            Really, you must ne on his payroll

          • Daryl Peek

            No team throws a brand new player like that on the court immediately. This has nothing to do with being a homer, it’s common sense.

        • #8 kobe

          Mike doesnt know the lakers he doesnt fit the whole organization we need phil back we dont run mikes run n gun offence he changed everything!!! He keeping nash for what he is washed up and old kendall Marshall we be good n a long run but he not ready .. he doesn’t know how to run the team yeah he young we need that we need a strong point guard with experience and back ground. .. we got shooting guards we need a strong center jordan hill good pau good even kamen is good.. we need play makers kobe needs to run his team on n off the court thats his team if phill not there.. kobe is trying to keep pau to make this big move before he retire his jersey bring another star to can get points bring us back to the playoff build our franchise

    • DanFromMV

      MDA will never win a championship because he doesn’t emphasize defense. The Lakers won’t have a roster to contend for several years, between the lack of draft picks and the limitations of the new CBA. Might as well ride out the storm (and turn of the TV) until then

      • Lakers Fan

        MDA will be gone before or after this season.

        • Sylvia Ross

          Hope you’re right, dantoni never should have been hire. If it had been Mike Brown he would have been fired.!!

          • Dragon7s

            Slow your roll.
            The Lakers have shown they can win with MDA’s system when they are healthy.

            Now I don’t always agree with some of his roster decisions but you have to look at the fact that the players were playing hard, having fun and winning games that most prognosticators predicted they would lose.

            If those of you that are criticizing the negatives (guilty as charged), then to be fair, you also have to give credit where credit is due.

            Brown didn’t have a clue, and still doesn’t, and was rightly fired but to put MDA in that category is ignoring reality.

  • Gregory Choa

    He’s right, the Lakers shouldn’t and won’t “tank”…that’s not to say they won’t continue to lose games, naturally as a result of being decimated by injuries.
    As some of our core players get healthy again – namely our guards; X, Farmar, Blake & Kobe – I think we’re likely to see the team start winning more and more games…whether that gets them into the playoffs remains to be seen.
    Point is, if Lakers fans are actually hoping and wishing that the team lose on purpose just to ensure themselves of a lottery pick, then they are 1) not true fans, and 2) SOL.
    Lakers don’t tank.

    • kobe24

      Hey Gregory, I’m not necessarily a fan of tanking but it is somewhat of a valid strategy. But looking at the games right now the Lakers just suck not trying to tank haha.

      However, I don’t think any GM in the league is going to outright say “Our team is tanking” and if the Lakers decide to also Kupchak won’t come out and say “Alright guys Lakers are going to tank this season”

      And truth be told I don’t think it would be a bad idea for Lakers to tank and get top 5 pick instead of getting pick number 13~14??? I know for the next two season tank or not its going to be mediocre (unless Kupcake gets some ridiculous trades going) so why not go for a future franchise player so Lakers can transition to the Kobe era -> Future draft pick era ???

      Also what does SOL mean :o

      • Gregory Choa

        SOL means “Sh!t Out of Luck”. OK, so, are you trying to tell me that you’re a proponent of institutional tanking? …wherein if the Lakers aren’t losing games because they’re finally starting to get guys healthy again – i.e. Kobe – that they should start losing those games…by design???…and just so that they can deliberately miss the playoffs?

        • kobe24

          Well, lets be statistical here, we have 4 important guys out Farmar, Blake, Kobe, Nash. All of them coming back around early February to late February (except for Nash god knows when).

          By that time the Lakers will have played about 45~50 games, and unless they turn around and win every single game the record will be setting at around 18~19 wins. Why not just rest Kobe so he can be 100% for 2013-2014 instead of making him try hard for a futile effort??? By the time he comes back seeing how tough the west his they are going to be 9~10th seed at best

          • kobe24

            Oh and current situation it isn’t tanking when we are just bad :(. Maybe we can start talking about “tanking” when Kobe returns and everyone is injury free haha

          • That One guy

            start tanking when kobe and the rest of the starting line-up is back? are you retarded?

    • Dragon7s

      You’re right about the Lakers not tanking.
      There’s too much institutional pride to even consider it.

      Having said that, I also believe that due to the current situation with so many very good teams in the West and the near impossibility that the Lakers can make the playoffs at this point, those injured players will likely take longer to come back from their injuries than if the Lakers were still fighting for a playoff spot.
      And there’s nothing wrong with that strategy IMO.
      The Lakers have nearly always (Malone/Payton?; last season?) taken the long view when it comes to the success of the franchise.

      • Gregory Choa

        That I will agree with – no need to rush Kobe back, and the Lakers need to take a long, serious look at the medical retirement provision for Nash. But Farmar & Blake need to get back onto the court as soon as they are cleared – this business of rolling with only two healthy guards on the roster is just a killer – NO TEAM can be expected to win games like that.

        • Dragon7s

          As a long time Laker fan, I’m happy with them playing hard, competing and having fun…at this point, winning is secondary. Just being honest given the situation.

  • ejshaq

    Whether they are tanking or not is irrelevant. We are done after these next 10 out of 11 games on the road. The hole that we will continue to grow will be too much even if we make some type of major push.

    • J Taylor

      And we wonder why Nash, Bryant, Farmar, and Blake are sitting.

      Then Kobe comes back, and makes the failed rush to the playoffs interesting.

      • Dragon7s

        While it’s true that those players may be coming back a bit slower than if the Lakers were in a position to compete for a PO spot, can’t blame the FO/trainers for allowing those players to fully heal…it’s called the Big Picture.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Mitch Kupchak is 110% right the Lakers are not tanking they just can’t find a way to win many games with all these damn injuries sadly.Lakers are trying hard as hell but the team is just not healthy this season.Even if the Lakers lose 20 games in a row it’s not tanking they just are a bad team this season.The Lakers would have never ever have been 13-13 if they were tanking they would have won 13 games the whole season if they were tanking.As always it’s the truth injuries have screwed the Lakers up in the worst way possible.Lottery pick is a bonus for losing.

  • DanFromMV

    They don’t need to tank. They were a surprising .500 team before the rash of injuries, and they wouldn’t make the playoffs even with a .500 record in the West. All we need is a little help from the Ping-Pong ball “gods” (aka David Stern — throw us a bone for vetoing the Chris Paul trade)

    • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

      you contradict yourself… they were a 500 team before the season and yet you blame the coach…. if you want to blame the coach don’t even mention anything about “surprising”… this team surprised many becuase they played above what they were capable of playing… and that is saying so much about the coach. I am not an MDA fan… but I give respect where due. And this coach should be given credit for what he has done under these difficult circumstances.

      • 3339

        so Jason Kidd deserves a round of applause based on your logic?
        what has dantoni done exactly? The Lakers look awful man. so I don’t understand why you’re kissing his ass.

        • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

          Giving credit to a coach who rallies his players to play hard in the face of unprecedented injuries and challenges is not kissing ass… that’s giving respect… if you cannot respect that… then you are not really a fan of basketball you are just a fan….at least you show your color and it is blinding.

          • 3339

            dude they are professionals. playing hard isn’t something that should be rewarded. It’s expected.
            They look awful. and when Kobe was back they looked worse because dantoni can’t coach him.

          • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

            and that is according to you…. there is a big difference between fans and coaches as well as FO… they know better than anyone of us here…if you can’t accept that…. i have nothing more to say.

          • 3339

            so I along with every fan on here including yourself should never talk about the Lakers since we aren’t in the front office?

          • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

            What you said there is just telling something…. I was addressing your comment… “MDA do not know how to coach”… that is totally not true. That is where your problem lies. You can post any thing and we can talk anything as long as it is true and makes sense… you saying that does not makes sense. There are a lot of thing to talk about our team, things that are true to it. But it is not that MDA does not know how to coach. It is like saying, an NBA player does not know how to play basketball… that does not makes sense at all.

          • 3339

            comparing a player and coach is not the same. Everyone in the NBA can play not everyone can coach well

          • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

            If you make a comparison… stay to it… if all NBA player can play basketball, then all NBA coaches can certainly coach basketball… and FO know better… other NBA coaches say so, and I will have to agree with them. Now you are entitled to disagree of course,

          • 3339

            dude enough

          • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

            Let’s talk basketball not some, notion which are untrue.

          • Dragon7s

            Your logic is flawed.

            How is it that professional basketball players can ‘play’ but well-paid professional coaches can’t ‘coach well’? *confused*

          • 3339

            so none of us on here should talk basketball then because we aren’t in the front office?

          • that one guy

            you are being close-minded and ignorant. Sometimes teams just have bad seasons and bad luck. They were holding up okay before all the injuries. now shut the hell up.

          • Dragon7s

            Tell that to the Nets’ and Knicks’ players.

            Now, while I find some of MDA’s rotations questionable, I highly doubt that any other coach could have steered this group of players to a better record considering the number of injuries and for that, he’s earned a measure of respect.

      • DanFromMV

        Not contradicting myself. What in my post is blaming the coach? I estimated 30 – 35 wins before the season, so .500 would have been an “above expectation” result. Now, with injuries and the most likely Pau trade scenario, they will be hard-pressed to eek out 35 wins. Either way they won’t be in the playoffs, and I hope they get a good pick in the draft

  • BBallAnd1

    Laker fans I hope you guys can accept the fact that you are f*cked and the league is absolutely enjoying this.
    Everyone finds it incredibly entertaining that D’Antoni is your coach because he is absolutely destroying your team and yet your front office won’t fire him.
    You guys think you’re gonna get big free agents? Well let me break it to you, you are not. Dwight Howard did what every other superstar would’ve done. No superstar wants to play for the Lakers. Not only do you guys have an absolute cancer for a coach but your owner Jim Buss is just as stubborn and no superstar wants to deal with that crap.
    Dr. Buss was a tremendous man and he was the Lakers. Nobody gives a shit about history. Dr. Buss was why you guys were successful. Players liked him and wanted to play for him and they trusted him to build a great team.
    Now they see nothing but arrogance in Jim Buss, D’Antoni, and Kupchak. Jeanie is just a cheerleader that’ll beg superstars to come play for LA but they’ll ignore that. If you’re a superstar like Dwight, Melo, Kyrie, Love, and for goodness sake Lebron, you have no desire to play for that. And what is even more hilarious for haters is that even if you guys do get great players your coach will terribly misuse them but knowing your owner, he will probably get an extension. He can’t coach big men or superstars, which is what the Lakers are all about.
    You guys chose D’Antoni over Dwight Howard. You seem ok with the fact that D’Antoni is more important to your team then the best big man in the game.
    The Lakers are not the premier attraction anymore. That died with the great Dr. Buss. The Lakers are now the biggest joke in the NBA and only have themselves to blame. If you guys honestly think that this is a quick fix, think again. You might as well have let Kobe go because your pal D’Antoni is standing in the way of him succeeding. D’Antoni doesn’t know what he’s doing and your front office has the arrogance to think that just because your the Lakers that everything will automatically work. Well sorry to tell ya Lakers fans, this is going to get even worse for you. You think this year is bad?

    • Gregory Choa

      Spoken like a true Clippers fan!

    • Lakers Fan

      Hate to admit it, but this whole statement is so true.

      • kobe24

        Clippers fan or not its sort of true..However it was Dr.Buss’s idea for Jim Buss to take over. He must have seen something in his son (I hope) I trust in Dr.Buss’s decision and that he decided to place his boy JImmy as head.

    • J Taylor

      The league is enjoying that the Lakers will miss the playoffs for the 6th time in history. – Probably true.
      No superstar wants to play for the Lakers? – Why is C.Anthony still making the Lakers an Option? I am sure K.Love would love to play in LA. In 2016 when Durant is a free agent, and Kobe is gone, I am sure he’ll take a stop in LA. Howard couldn’t handle the big stage and he left.
      D’antoni, if you remove your hatred goggles, has done an amazing job with an entire roster of 2nd string players. Kobe, Nash, Blake, Farmar and even Pau have been injured (The entire 1st string practically!)
      Jim Buss – Jim is only 1 piece of the equation.

      Come down from the frustration of this year, and relax. The team has TONS of money and options for 2014. – In Mitch I trust.

    • Kenneth Simkins

      History says the Lakers will be back because its the Lakers you are talking about and not the Clippers! Since back when we had West and Baylor then West and Chamberlain then Magic and Kareem then Kobe and Shaq then Kobe and Pau we found a way! Now when Kobe passes the Torch we will find a new way and the Lakers will be winners again! Its going to be sooner than later for sure! Our Lakers will rise again!

    • Dragon7s

      Do you really think Kobe would have signed that extension if he didn’t believe in the FO to have a plan to return the Lakers to prominence again?

      I have no doubt that when contract talks were ongoing, Mitch and Jim laid out their plans for the future to Kobe (in fact, I’m sure Kobe insisted on it) and Kobe believes they have a sound plan for future success.

      Without that explanation, and Kobe’s being convinced it would be successful, Kobe would have seriously considered retirement rather than spend his final two seasons on a team with no chance at a ring.

      Contrary to popular belief, Kobe’s a helluva smart man, basketball-wise and business-wise.

  • Magic Mamba

    dumb media.. as if they were expecting Mitch to say “Yes! we are officially tanking!”

  • Hank

    I’d love to see what they say behind closed doors. They probably don’t mind if the team piles up loses from now to the end of the regular season.

  • Rigged4fun

    Tanking won’t do much but bring them one lotto player, and who knows how that player will turn out. Look at Wesley Johnson and Shawne Williams they were both lotto picks. The most they can get is one-year contracts. I don’t see where it makes a whole lot of difference.

    • J Taylor

      High talent playing on cheap contracts. – That’s just how the league is now.
      Look at Monroe, Bledsoe, Drummund…. All playing for pennies on the dollar based on their contributions.

      • Dragon7s

        True. Unfortunately it’s the new reality with the current CBA, cheap and talented players have more value than superstars now.

        Hopefully the owners realise their mistake and increase the salary cap to the point where stars are more of a commodity (for lack of a better word) than talented players on rookie contracts.

    • Link

      Lakers need a top 7 pick. Thats the sweet spot, the top 7 all have superstar potential, more so than what you’ve seen in the Wesley Johnson/Shawne Williams draft classes. This draft class is even more loaded than the LeBron, Wade, Melo, Bosh draft in 03.

  • Daryl Peek

    Don’t have to try and tank the way things are going. The boat is almost half sunk already.

  • setrue

    Losing, tanking, not winning or whatever you want to call it but we are preparing for 2014 draft. Lakers cannot come out publicly saying they hope to continue to lose but that is the objective. Lakers need to rebuild and get younger and D’antoni is better suited to coach a young players in fast pace game. Stop the nonsense about Phil Jackson not being the coach. He would NOT coach this year’s team because it lacks the TALENT to be a dominant team. We do not have Shaq or a young Kobe or Fisher to run the triangle sets. Howard was a fraud, Pau is too old, and Kobe will be a year older and may never to be the same talent prior to his injury. I know its tough but fans need to realize Lakers are preparing to move forward to rebuild.

  • cooldad

    What do expect to a loser manager bet you next year lakers still down the drain. He doesn`t know how to built a team without the help from the consultant from the former lakers like Jerry west or pat riley or replace him as soon as possible. All his trade was a failure , why keeping Nash actually he does`t know to negotiate.

    • Link

      Errr you do realize Kupchak by himself was the one who got Gasol here for a bunch of nobodys(at the time Marc Gasol was considered a nobody), hes the one who despite was Stern did made the Chris Paul trade happen, he got Dwight Howard here for Andrew Bynum, and he got Steve Nash for draft picks. Yeah other than Gasol most of these haven’t worked out but find me another GM with that kind of track record to get superstars to their team while giving up next to nothing in return. You always go after the best player available and thats what they’ve done, somtimes it just doesnt work out though.

    • that one guy

      You are a moron with absolutely zero knowledge of they type of trades and moves Mitch Kuptchak has pulled off. Go away and sit somewhere by yourself.

  • ILuvLAL

    Tank pz. We want Parker, Wiggins, or Randle!!

  • roseducanna

    Fire Mit Kupcake.

  • UknowEsuck

    One word OvEr !!!!!!!!! Kobe ain’t the same no more sad even if he tried his best he still won’t put up the numbers he’s been doing in the past let go and face the music lakers need a new coach that could manage players time to make every one consistent enougand players need to man up and play ball they make them selfs look bad it’s like a joke and after the game is a fun games making jokes in the looker room we need serious determined and dedicated players ,!!

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