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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 - CBSSports.com.

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. 

 
Comments

Since: Aug 30, 2012
Posted on: August 30, 2012 5:37 am
 

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Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:47 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

It is fun to watch the lakers and celtics fall apart.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:34 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

Stop being a hater, Kobe is a player who will get you that victory when you need it!

No, he's a great front-runner and always has been.  He's a choke artist when his team has their backs against the wall.  Do the math.  



Since: Feb 21, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 6:17 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

What the Lakers should do is obtain Michael Beasley with their trade exeption, trade for Sessions with a first round pick, then trade Pau Gasol for Josh Smith and Kirk Hinrich. Now you just made the Lakers more athletic with Bynum 5, J Smith 4, Beasley 3, Kobe 2, and Sessions @ 1. Bench: Kirk Hinrich, Goudelock, Josh McRoberts, Barnes, Steve Blake, Kapono.....and then maybe get a athletic 4 as back up.



Since: Feb 21, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:51 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

Because Kobe is a proven winner with 5 championship rings, and great references from the Legends: Magic, Shaq, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan among others. Stop being a hater, Kobe is a player who will get you that victory when you need it! You through these stupid old stats but Kobe gets the job done! So stop whining get on a team, stop ban-wagoning, learn about the sport son!



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:05 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

The Lakers should trade Kobe away to the Magic for Dwight Howard and a draft pick.
Because the Magic want to a 37 year old who needs a great supporting cast AND to give up a draft pick, and the Lakers want to of the few all-star centers in the league.  Makes no sense from any angle.  


Not that they'd ever actually do it, but the Lakers would be better off sending Kobe to the Magic for Ryan Anderson, JJ Reddick, and Jameer Nelson.  They fill their holes at PG and outside shooting and retain their strength - length and skill in the half-court game.  And it might be enough to convince Howard to stay in Orlando.  If Mike Brown can contend with LeBron James and a cast of nobodies, he should certainly be able to contend with Bynum, Gasol, Nelson, Anderson, and some solid role players.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:54 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

What we really need is a serviceable PG (JR Smith) and an athletic wing.

I had all kinds of problems with your post, but this just makes no sense at all.  J.R. Smith not a point guard.  Oh, and of course, he's been a Knick for a few days, as basketball fans know.  

Oh, and Kobe "standing up for Gasol" doesn't change the fact that he'll throw a teammate under he bus without hesitation.  He simply wants Gasol on the team.  Give him a player he doesn't care for and he'll do what he did with Bynum a few years ago.   At least he's smart enough to realize Gasol won him a championship while he was doing his usual elimination-game choke act in game 7 against the Celtics.  Why doesn't anyone ever talk about how how Kobe is less than a 38% and tunover machine over his entire career when his team is facing elimination? 



Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

I'm certain the Mavericks will take Pau Gasol for Brendon Haywood and Lamar Odom (the Lakers can have his sorry ass back). Heck, we'll even throw Roddy B. in for nothing since he does nothing but be 'potential' for us on the bench...kinda like Luke Walton.  C'mon, its a good deal!  Luke gets a bench buddy and the Lakers get psuedo-celeb Lamar Odom back to go with all the 'Hollywoodness Mystique', while Brendon Haywood can play the Devean George role.



Since: Jan 10, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:14 pm
 

Lakers' Kupchak responds to Kobe, Gasol

Kobe doesn't care if Gasol stays.  He just wants to Win again.  Nothing wrong with that.  But just as much as he wouldn't like management tell him not to take so many shots any more, he shouldn't tell management how to deal with trades.  Obviously they want to do what's best for the team and if the price is right there is always the possibility they will pull the triger.  This is how things always have been done.  No need to change things because Kobe's job is to be short-sighted.  And then of course it does not hurt that all this new drama makes Kobe look like a 'nice' guy.  Good move for some extra PR.  I say trade Gasol but only if you're getting proven talent in return that fills needs, like a star PG, etc.  Let management do it's job.  It's all part of playing in the NBA.  Just play the game and collect your millions.  Life is good.  Drama is one thing the Lakers have not been short on. 


jbreitung
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:53 pm
This comment has been removed.

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