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Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Says ‘Patience Is Key’ In Lakers Rebuild Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="188"] Last week, Kobe Bryant made it clear that he does not expect another season like the one the Lakers have experienced this year. He al [new_royalslider id="188"] Last week, Kobe Bryant made it clear that he does not expect another season like the one the Lakers have experienced this year. He al Rating: 0
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Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Says ‘Patience Is Key’ In Lakers Rebuild

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Last week, Kobe Bryant made it clear that he does not expect another season like the one the Lakers have experienced this year. He also had no problems calling out Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak, and the rest of the Lakers front office.

With a two-year window, Bryant wants the Lakers to make moves now, but that may not be feasible. Mitch Kupchak spoke to David Leon Moore of USA Today Sports, and continued to stress patience despite Bryant’s demands:

Patience is the key. With the new collective bargaining agreement, there are no quick fixes. You cannot outbid teams for star players.

With such a harsh luxury tax penalty part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the Lakers can’t afford to just pay all players top dollar. The owners fought to make things more even for smaller markets and that has a huge impact for a team like the Lakers.

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Kupchak seems to have a plan, and that plan focuses on both the draft and good free agency deals to turn the team around. As he told USA Today, he is vary wary of putting everything into the draft, or saddling the team with bad contracts in free agency:

The one thing we feel is not a good thing is to be saddled with contracts of players that put us in the middle of the pack [...] To think the draft can save your franchise, we just don’t think that way [...] a lot of players have been picked in the middle or late first round that have turned out to be great players, and a lot of guys who have been picked one, two or three haven’t worked out.

Kupchak is a smart man, he will do his due diligence in the draft, and the NBA free agent market. But he will not allow Bryant’s words will to force him into panic moves that don’t improve the team.
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Kobe Bryant On Change THIS Summer, Jim and Jeanie Buss, Coaching Staff


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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 : 790
  • Daryl Peek

    I find it very interesting how West, Kupchak and many other solid basketball minds keep saying the same thing about tanking. West and Kupchak are both in agreement on the patience’s theme and it’s clear Kobe’s wishes will fall on deaf ears less the right deal comes along.

    Lakers fans need to stop buying into the pundit Lakers smear campaigns over Phil. The franchise was fine before him and will be after.

    • Zimmeredge

      all agree. Mitch’s speech was expected. Talented deep draft, young talented guys available in the FA, maybe the big three breaking up… that’s the type of stuff you can’t let go and he is well aware about this. we talked about this few days ago and I had the feeling that the draft will be the main plan for us for the next two seasons.

      • Josh

        Not next season. Lakers only have a pick next year if it is top 10 again, and that will not happen.

        • Zimmeredge

          top 5 only ;)
          we were harshly predicted top 12 by espn… we hoped, as fans, as a possible 8 or 7. we ended up 14 or 15.
          what’s sure is that if we are still injury plagued we won’t be able to compete much more next season. that’s the reason we need a healthy players at pg (Stephenson or Thomas), sf (draft so Wiggins or Parker) and c (Monroe if we are lucky).

    • Ralph Rivera

      News flash kapt kangaroo to be expert consultant to aid jim buss baskeball personel moves!

      • Daryl Peek

        Yawn.

    • Ralph Rivera

      Mitch and west are great bball minds of course they can say that jim on other hand cant

      • Daryl Peek

        But do they come out and say he isn’t? Has Phil done so? They are the ones who’ve worked with him. What reason does Phil have to vouch for Jimmy’s word on Dr. Buss making the decision on not hiring him? Everyone clamoring about Jimmy are folks that have not worked with him?

        • Chrmngblly

          Shit, Daryl, does that mean you have worked with him? Tell us all about it or quit sucking his long john.

          • Daryl Peek

            How about you and everyone else stop tossing Phil’s salad. I don’t need to tell you, Phil and Jeanie keep telling it confirming Dr. Buss’s plan.

          • Chrmngblly

            You should get back on your medications.

          • Daryl Peek

            YAWN

    • truth24

      Ehhh wrong, the franchise was at a low after magics Illness and Lakers sucked through 92-95. Once Phil, shaq, Kobe came aboard was until then the Lakers started winning. Now the Lakers have their worst record this season in franchise history what the he’ll are you Thinking by saying things are fine after phil………… Jim buss does not know what he’s doing. I see him only going for superstars but he lacks the knowledge to aquire great role players to support Kobe with. Your not gonna win a title with this cast. Lakers franchise is at its lowest ever since Phil stopped coaching. Until Jim quits being stubborn and listens to people Lakers are not going to be fine.

      • Spitfire

        sounded like you know Jim huh?! Yeah right! Jim and mitch are close working together. Even without Phil the Lakers are fine and i trust them over Phil. If this is coaching then Phil is the man, but Phil doesnt want to coach anymore and yet all you whiners and Phil’s supporters keeps on saying that he is the man, the saviour of the Lakers BS. He already left the Lakers for 3 years now and he is the president of the Knicks.
        You can join him there if you want to since you all love him.
        While us Lakers fans will be patient for the rebuild of this team.

        • Daryl Peek

          Sho you right!

      • Daryl Peek

        You like many others continue to ignore the collective. Jim has not made decisions on his own. Dr. Buss didn’t either. Why do you’all keep assuming Dr. Buss and Mitch would idly sit thee and watch Jimmy make these so called uninformed bad moves without input that would overrule given being in the best interest of the franchise? I for the life of me can’t understand that thought process?

        Magic retired before the start of 91-92. The team had a drop off but still had a wining record and a playoff appearance. The next season the FO allowed Dunlevy to get scooped up by the Bucks due to being offered FO power along with his coaching duties. Dr. Buss and West chose Randy Pfund as his replacement. Two miserably bad losing seasons (39-43 & 33-49) followed with the firing of Pfund in 93-94 coupled with Magic’s failed attempt at coaching the team.

        Imagine Jimmy being behind decisions like that? All hell would break out in Lakers Nation as the Jimmy haters would be on tilt!

        The next season 94-95 Del Harris was hired coaching basically the same team, with the addition of Cedric Ceballos, and they won 48 games as the birth of the Late Show came about. In 95-96 the team won 53 games. Again it was basically the same team as the 33-49 roster.

        The Lakers will be fine and Jimmy is not the buffoon most try to paint him out to be. I suggest the Phil worshipers go root for NY. No disrespect but no man, player or coach is bigger than the Lakers brand.

  • purp&goldpride

    I don’t know how Lakers fans would feel about this, but I honestly feel that the Lakers should have given kobe the option to play for a contender in his last year’s. My feeling I’d they gave him that contract in hopes that it would keep him happy if the losses pile up. Yeah kobe signed the contract, but I’ll bet he wouldn’t have if he knew the immediate future looks bleak

    • Daryl Peek

      Kobe’s very smart. He was involved in the new CBA struggle two years ago so I’m sure he’s well versed on how it changed things for teams in free agency. Kobe also had to know that contract was more about paying respect to him for his years of service coupled with a message to other superstars about how the Lakers treat their stars.

      The immediate future had to take a hit given Kobe’s injury and the need to rebuild. Rebuilding is never a quick fix. Lets just calm down and see if Mitch can pull another rabbit out of his hat. If not, hopefully we can enjoy Kobe’s farewell tour like we did with Kareem in 89 and Magic in 96.

      • Zimmeredge

        Daryl tbh 15 and 16 are farewell tour for Kobe. He hasn’t played in a full season. Yeah he played a couple of games in november or december but that’s about it. That was like… training camp… So now, he has seventh month ahead of him to get ready. All in All he had a break of a year and a half or so to rest. No world cup this summer. He either get back rejuvenated and free from injury. Tip top form or… he’s a shade of himself. I think a 20/6/6 could be great for the Lakers.

        • Daryl Peek

          Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying Kobe has nothing left in the tank. Magic came back and put up really good numbers for a guy who was out of the game for four years… 14.6/6.4/6.

          20/6/6 would be great but there are so many factors that can influence that beyond Kobe’s control. Coach, style of play and how he recovers this time and if he can sustain health. We cannot fall back into the same conversations we had last summer as many swore Kobe would come back dominant. Wait and see this time and even Kobe has began to reserve himself to that.

          Fawell tour does not mean a shell of himself necessarily. He will be a different player tho.

          • Zimmeredge

            100% sure he won’t come back dominant now. he will still be above the mix, still a superstar status but no longer dominant.

            oh btw i’m thinking… the quatari will acquire a french basketball team (Paris Saint-Germain) soon so they might get interested to get 37yo (he will be 36 in 16) Bryant in Europe. They wanna built a big project with good players. he will bring experience and will to win. It will sell a lot of shirts, tickets, tv partnership. He will personnally get a lot of money. Paris Saint-Germain are sponsored by Nike. The quatari have parts in Staples too.
            Kobe was eager to play in Europe for a while. Just sayin. So he might also farewell in Europe, in China and then back in the USA at 40. Like a rock star.

          • Daryl Peek

            Interesting line of thought on the overseas thing. I could see that. I’d venture to say Kobe would take on a Bill Russell like role as a player coach with a partial ownership stake. Kobe loves doing business abroad!

    • LakersHeatBeef

      I love seeing Kobe on the Lakers only,he will retire a Laker.

    • Marty Susman

      I don’t. I remember Kobe threatening to leave not once but twice. Kobe has to decide weather or not he wants to play with a team that is rebuilding & honestly they team will be worthless until AFTER the 2015 free agents sign….My guess is simple, Kobe will NOT want to be here playing with a horrible team, he will ask for a trade & if I were the front office, I would agree as long as we get two top 10 picks this year with one top 5. If we get that, bye bye Kobe, go play with Phil, he loves older players and hates kids….

      • michael

        screw these picks. Those picks aren’t a kobe worth.

      • Josh

        Even if there was any chance of the front office being willing to trade Kobe (!), no other team would take him at this point. 36 years old, hasn’t played good basketball in a year, coming off multiple major injuries, AND due to make $48.5 million over the next two years. Get real.

        And I love Kobe and am glad the Lakers gave him that contract. But the risk is not worth it for any team to even consider taking it on, since they would have to give up their best player plus other pieces to make the trade work financially.

    • Josh

      They DID give Kobe that option. His contract was set to expire, and he could have not signed a new one yet if he wanted to play elsewhere. He wants to be a Laker. Even if he doesn’t win #6, he KNOWS this team will give him at least one more shot.

    • Spitfire

      May i ask you..Are you a Laker fan or just a Kobe fan?
      Kobe fans logic…try to win now and bring unnecessary players to team up with Kobe in his last 2 years contract then what? After Kobe retires, the Lakers will be fuckd up.
      Or Laker fans logic…be patient and wait for a better future post Kobe?
      Me, id rather wait and be patient and not waste all the cap space that the Lakers have in the future.
      Obviously, 2015 is more possible to contend with a high draft pick and the Lakers intention to get Love in 2015 and KD in 2016, which Is the last year of Kobe to the Lakers.
      It is clear that the salary of Bryant will be used as a base salary of the next Lakers franchise player after kobe retires which as all reports points out to KD in 2016. Will you use that flexibility for the better future? OMay i ask you..Are you a Laker fan or just a Kobe fan?
      Kobe fans logic…try to win now and bring unnecessary players to team up with Kobe in his last 2 years contract then what? After Kobe retires, the Lakers will be fuckd up.
      Or Laker fans logic…be patient and wait for a better future post Kobe?
      Me, id rather wait and be patient and not waste all the cap space that the Lakers have in the future.
      Obviously, 2015 is more possible to contend with a high draft pick and the Lakers intention to get Love in 2015 and KD in 2016, which Is the last year of Kobe to the Lakers.
      It is clear that the salary of Bryant will be used as a base salary of the next Lakers franchise player after kobe retires which as all reports points out to KD in 2016. Will you use that flexibility for the better future

  • LakersHeatBeef

    It’s tough being a Lakers fan right now for many Lakers fans since the team is constantly losing this season.Well it’s just a bad season so far but yes the signs are their that this a long rebuild taking place.For every fan saying bad things about Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak please relax it’s a rebuild and it’s the first time the Lakers have ever rebuilt before.

    Usually in the past the Lakers just reloaded year after year well like Mitch said their are no more quick fixes with the new CBA in place.Patience is the key to this whole plan in place for Mitch and Jim.It’s not like they can outbid teams for superstar players no that is not allowed with the new CBA.

    Nothing can change the facts the Lakers are forced to rebuild and will not sign players to be a middle of the pack team they are bottoming out to the very bottom and hoping to climb back to the top one day in the not so distant future.Once again patience is the key,take a chill pill and just do what i do and that is just wait and see what happens.

    Other than that yes this is a dark place to be for the Lakers faithful.We will rise to the top hopefully but for now we are at the bottom of the west with a team full of old players on their last stand before they go away into retirement.I will remain a Lakers fan through the tough times.Hope for the best for the future.Go Lakers!

    • Josh

      Not to mention, the Lakers can’t even pay anyone as much as other teams because California has such a high state income tax. The Lakers actually pay players LESS than they can make on other teams.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Mitch Kupchak is going to make it happen for the Lakers once again patience.

  • Terrell

    I know I’m in the minority in this, but I don’t mind waiting if it takes 3yrs or is to fully rebuild. Just speaking for myself, I think being asked to be patient isn’t too much to ask given all the titles and joy the Lakers have given us for years. The team can’t afford to be myopic and just go “all in” for Kobe’s final 2 years. Besides, they has been going “all in” for him up until last season. The team has to prioritize and plan above all for beyond the next 2yrs

    • Kay Carter

      i agree, but kobe being kobe will say otherwise smh

    • Josh

      They will do everything possible to win now AND in the future. That is what makes them better than EVERY other team in the NBA.

      • Jeff

        They are a far cry from winning “now”. I think starting with this coming draft, they will gradually add pieces over the next 2-3 offseasons to build up the team to title contention. There will be no one time splash this summer contrary to what Kobe and all myopic fans want.

        • Josh

          I agree that the full rebuild will be complete I’m 2016, with Durant being the primary target to replace Kobe. But the Lakers will put together a team that can compete this summer with their future plans in mind. I’m not so delusional that I think they can raise another banner next year. I’m just delusional enough to think they can make it to the second round of the playoffs.

  • hookedonnews

    Everything Mitch is saying makes perfect sense. Everyone is on Jim Buss’s case, but I think they brought in a bunch of good guys last off-season who will form the core of a better than average bench. Some great players will be available in the next couple of years, and maybe we’ll get lucky and get a difference maker in the draft. This fan base appears to have little patience, but the roster is probably not going to be that different next season. Rebuilding takes time. If the team can stay healthy we should have a more competitive team, but it’s going to take time to return to a championship level. If Kobe wants a championship, then he’ll have to stay healthy and provide the leadership to make the team as good as it can be. But expecting the FO to bring in players this year isn’t realistic. I don’t see anyone out there that would make a real difference other than LeBron, and I don’t see that happening.

    • Marty Susman

      First off the Lakers need to decide who of the kid’s now playing should be kept here as a GREAT bench mob, sign then to two year deals max. leaving then money for 2015 free agents. The real question is KOBE, will he want to play here if we go for the long run, not for HIS short timers demands… Can he play for this team after what he has said or will he want to… THEN is there one team out their with DRAFT picks who would take Kobe & his $48,000,000 and give up those picks… SURE Phil would jump at Kobe teaming up with Melo BUT they have shit to send us back… IF they could get us 2 first round picks both below 10 one below 6 for KOBE from Philly or ??? It would be a great move for all three teams involved…YES I AM A DREAMER>>>>

      • Zimmeredge

        we will not trade Kobe for one reason… he’s our only superstar. you seel season’s tickets, jersey’s on his name… trade him for what? Draft picks? a bunch of wackie players?
        Phil Jackson will not take any lakers. he has to get result. We have nothing to give him… And if Phil has the opportunity to spit at us he won’t hesitate. It’s business.

        • Marty Susman

          I said IF Kobe demands a trade….

          • Daryl Peek

            Why would he demand a trade? Kobe will not play for another team, regardless of the FO not adhering to his wishes of all out, which are unrealistic.

          • Marty Susman

            A. Kobe said he would not play for this coach.
            B. Kobe said he did not want to play on a team that is rebuilding.
            C. Kobe wants to keep Pau and dump the coach and he wants more older players to help HIM get one more ring, we won’t do any of this.
            D. Kobe either plays as a player (now owner) or he does not, his choice I simply said he need sot tow the line & get his $48,000,000 gift….OR demand a trade & then Phil will have to convoke Philly or a combination of teams to come up with two top under 10 picks for him.

          • Daryl Peek

            E. None of the above is an option Kobe would exercise.

            F. and finally, Kobe has stated he’s a Laker for life and he means that.

          • Marty Susman

            We shall see.

          • Zimmeredge

            G. he’s just an employee in the end and what he says or what he wants do not have any major effect on his boss. so he could ask for anything. he signed a contract for two seasons. he has to respect that contract. He could ask for a trade the fo won’t listen. Plsu they will struggle to find a team willing to put 48 on his old ass.

          • Zimmeredge

            i know but that’s unrealistic… he will not go away just to win number 6. he has equal chances to win with us within two seasons than he has with the Knicks. I think people don’t understand how the situation is f-ed up in NYK. Phil have a lot of restriction. He won’t be able to operate in the FA as much as he would expect. CBA is a problem for us… it’s an even bigger problem in the east with Brooklyn or NY.

      • hookedonnews

        Don’t see Kobe leaving LA. Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time he asked to be traded but at this stage of his career it’s unlikely. Whoever is coaching, whether it’s MDA or someone else, I think Kobe believes he can work his will on the court. Saw some of that last season. Kobe is the face of the franchise. I don’t look for that to change no matter how he feels about the coach or the FO.

      • Josh

        Really? You think another team is going to give up their best player, plus other players, plus multiple first-round draft picks for a 36-year-old version of Kobe Bryant coming off multiple major injuries and not playing good basketball in about 1 1/2 years? YES, YOU ARE A DREAMER.

    • michael

      no LeBron please.

      • hookedonnews

        Want a ring? That’s our best chance to get one in the short term. I’m not a LeBron fan either, but I would like another championship. Don’t worry. He’ll be in Miami or Cleveland according to most NBA experts.

        • Zimmeredge

          at this point, i think the fo is buying on the idea of having rebuilding and retooling or revamping the squad.
          We will get good players. Players that are yet to establish themselves in the league. Thomas or Stephenson and Monroe have the perfect profile for this mission. And if they are not perfect players to get a title they have great value so you can trade them later on.

          • hookedonnews

            I think they are more likely to go for players like Kevin Love. I think they want players that can help them get a title. That’s the reason they are probably not going to go after a free agent this year. There are going to be some really good players out there in the next couple of years–the kind of players that could be real difference makers. Some of it will depend on who they get in the draft this year. I agree that they are rebuilding, but I think they want to do what Miami did. They want to bring in players that will make an immediate impact and put them in the Finals. To do that they are going to have to wait until those kind of players are available.

          • Daryl Peek

            Agreed. I could see the FO trading Gasol and the rights to our first round pick to Minny in a draft day trade for Love. I’d want a litttle more back than just Love tho.

          • hookedonnews

            I’d be surprised to see them trade our pick, but it could happen. If they keep the pick and wait we could have both Love and a good young player. Either way I’d like to see KL in LA.

          • savi

            Man i just remember when before his comeback, Kobe signed the two years extension. He said “Mitch is a genius!”
            Well I definitely smell something!! it’s all cooking the right way, just wait till it’s ready

  • Jamar

    The Lakers won before, during, and after each superstar era, and they will do so again post-Kobe. The FO shouldn’t cave to Kobe’s ” all in for my last 2 yrs” mantra, and to myopic Laker fans with pitchforks on one hand and torch in another. The quick fix era is over with the new CBA and the mentality of today’s star who would rather team up than be THE man by which the franchise builds around on.

  • Kay Carter

    In Mitch i trust, this guy was key in bringing players like Pau, CP3 nd D12…..Mitch will get it done, especially once we have the cap space

    Honestly, i cant wait till Kobe retire nd see the next Lakers star nd era

  • Al Haldie

    Its been two years mitch.. how much longer do we wait UNTILL Jim Buss grows up…That will never happen…

  • Chris Mihm

    I think Mitch is just grounded. He’s slightly optimistic, but not pessimistic about the future. He’s not going to pick up guys just for their name, but he’s going to strategically add pieces to make the team competitive for not just 1 or 2 years like Kobe wants, but for several years to come. It would be great to already have a team were we would just add like 1 or 2 pieces, and go from there. But there is so many obstacles now, that the Lakers have to really think of every possible detail out there.

  • hoperhetoric

    Shutup Kobe! You & Gasol are the one who blew the opportunity to win 3peats under Phil Jackson with loaded talents!!! Being swept by Mavs in embarrassing way, that is worse than the Lakers at present who are injured & w/o U.
    Then the management traded for Dwight but u & gasol blew it again. Getting badly injured & older + talking about alpha dog stuff will definitely make dwight leave.
    Dwight struggled too because of bad spacing with Gasol as stretch 4.
    & I saw him a lot really frustrated of the Defense. Even with phil Jackson as a coach the Lakers sucks at defense! that is why Bynum flagrantly foul barea because he keeps attacking the rim!

    It shows that the root cause is Gasol as position #4 with Bynum/Dwight in the floor. he has bad mobility to block the lane & take charges. always too late!
    Serge ibaka/perkins, garnett/perkins/, duncan, noah/boozer, david west/hibbert are all good combination for defense even if they are not 7footers!

    Gasol whining about not liking small ball??? But they sucked defensively as well under phil & with Bynum!

    The problem with present Lakers is, they dont have 6’9-6’11 stretch 4 that can shoot high percentage consistently & at the same time a shot blocker or will take a charge to block the lane. Wesley is too small. Kelly is still a newby, but with potential. Hill & kaman is too slow also.

    I can suggest Let go of Gasol if people wants to focus in defense. Gasol has slow reaction time & older! Kobe wants him for offense, but forgetting about defense. Lakers should sign Gortat & Deng!

    Just shutup kobe u had your rings already. Your 6th ring should have happen in the past when you are younger, if only u did not make shaq move out!

    Fans should shutup too about too much expectations for the Lakers, Unless kobe can show up in a game that he is as good or better than Lebron/ Durant/ Cp3 again then there is no point to complain! stop whining Melo/Love/Draftee can’t beat Lebron & Durant yet so just stop whining of too much expectations.

    • Marty Susman

      Kobe needs to decide, will he play here for a team that is on a long rebuild that will NOT get him another ring….Kobe has said some stuff & made some demands that will NOT be met or listened to so he needs to decide, what/where/if he plays again in purple & gold. If Kobe for the 3rd time as a Laker wants to talk trade, my guess is he would dream of the New York Nick’s. OK, Kobe & Melo in n.Y. would be a pretty good twosome. BUT NO way they have ANYTHING, NOTHING, ZERO to give back to the Lakers… They would have to get the Lakers 2 top 10 picks one below 6 from ???? for the Lakers…. We have one of our own, add tao more & we actually could have a good playoff run in 2014 & then after 2015 free agents, half dozen more rings…

    • Josh

      Sorry, I stopped reading when you blamed Kobe and Pau for blowing it for getting injured and for getting older.

  • Marty Susman

    2015 free agent time is the del time we will begin to crawl back… We will have a great pick this year, KEEP it…. Love will sign here in 2015 & if we are truly lucky, so will K. Irving or John Wall. The only thing I am a little worried about is center. The kid out of Kansas is in trouble back wise, that means free agency again… The two players I think could be in purple & gold are Brook Lopez & Greg monroe. One an offensive & one a defensive one…

    • Zimmeredge

      Brook Lopez & Greg Monroe… one offensive & one defensive big men? i only see two offensive big mens.
      Shaquille O’neal was not a defending beast he was just an ultra dissuasive big man in the paint thanks to his shot blocking abilities, his big body and work on the glass. Mutombo was an outstanding defending big men.
      Monroe can do the job and fill the paint but he is not a defensive anchor in the paint. I’ll be glad to have him next season as he is the type of big men people are looking for. And even if he does not satisfy us he’s got great potential and value around the league so we could always get draft picks and players for him.

  • Marty Susman

    KOBE & GASOL to Philly, all four first round picks go to the Lakers……..OH, send them our high school coach as well and we will pay his salary until the contract is over…

  • Michael

    I am 60 years old, a lifelong Laker fan, and Kobe’s my favorite player of all time. But I completely agree with “hoperhetoric’s” comments below. I think he nailed it. How long has it been since the Lakers have had a great defense? They didn’t have one during the “three-peat” under Phil. We fans have to face the fact that no team in any sport’s going to be on top every year. Life, and sports are a cycle. And as much as I’d like Kobe to eclipse Michael Jordan’s championships and the all-time scoring title, it’s probably not going to happen. It doesn’t need to happen. He’s achieved everything a player can achieve over the course of his career, and his legacy is cemented in stone for all time. I also doubt money is an issue for him, so I’d like to see him understand the limitations of what the organization’s dealing with (i.e. CBA), take the high road and help the team rebuild. Regardless of what he achieves in the next two years, assuming he plays, he’s going to “go out on top”.

  • Nashir Mohammed

    kupchak is no fool. And even though things did not work out with Howard and Nash, they were genius trades when they happened. As bad as this season has been, they signed some good players in the off-season, Wes johnson, Xavier Henry, Farmar…heck even Kendall Marshall did well. The injuries certainly played a role in things falling apart after December….when the team was .500 and competing. The Lakers had a great bench…but lacked a true starting 5 all season. Last season they had a good starting 5 but no bench.

  • TheTruthKills

    Finally someone is talking with some sense. A quick rebuild is out of the question. It’s going to be a slow climb to the top. I hope Kobe finally understands that the next two seasons won’t include a sixth ring. He wanted his money and now he’s got it at a steep price. Enjoy chasing the scoring record and mentoring our next superstar until we cast you aside.

  • Alex K Tatiracanal

    I’m not particularly worried about the Lakers. Yes, I want them to win a title, but in their 66 year history, they’ve missed the playoffs SIX times.

    Been to the finals 31 times and won 16.

    Somehow the Lakers find a way to win. Doesn’t matter what decade, what players, what coach, they win.

    If it comes down to a hostile takeover and pushing Jim Buss out, I can see them doing that. If it means they miss the playoffs this and maybe next year, but set themselves up for a 5 to 10 year run, they’ll do that.

    They have TOO much winning and history to build upon, to all of a sudden be a terrible franchise for the next decade.

    That’s what the Cleveland Cavaliers are for!

  • Abet

    Our patience is running thin, Mitch.

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