Lakers Conclude Season With Exit Interviews, Future Up In Air

ARCADIA, CA - APRIL 03: General Manager Mitch Kupchak of the Los Angeles Lakers stands in the Winner's Circle before the 73rd running of the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 3, 2010 at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers officially capped the blisteringly fast and tumultuous 2011-2012 shortened-season with their exit interviews with management and the media yesterday. Every player, except Kobe (he will meet later with them, over lunch, for a more lengthy discussion), participated in a sit-down with Mitch Kupchak and Mike Brown, and then followed that with a meeting with the assembled media for a fifteen minute or so Q&A session.

Here are the highlights:

Mike Brown:

"I feel like I could've done a lot better," Brown said.

"The toughest part is, I'm not using this as an excuse," Brown said. "We had as much time as everybody else. But it was tough from the standpoint that you didn't get to practice. We wouldn't have practiced that much harder because we have an older and veteran team. I still need to be conscious of not running those guys in the ground in the course of the regular season."

Pau Gasol:

I wish I could have clarification (about his future with the team) but they can’t give it to me right now. I think management still has to talk to ownership to see what direction this team will be going next year. We really didn’t talk much about the future. We talked about this year, how things have gone. Everything was really positive and encouraging for potential next season.

Andrew Bynum:

"I like telling the truth, what’s on my mind and how I feel … people will read three to four words and take what they want from there. My statements are a bit long-winded at times, and the whole statement should be heard … I don’t plan on monitoring my comments … I don’t really care if you guys criticize me. I have to go play regardless of what you guys write or do." Have to respect his honesty; many athletes, and people in general, don’t say what’s on their mind and stand by it. He’s not malevolent in any way about this, he just is going to say what he thinks.

Bynum acknowledged that he has lots of grey hair as a 24-year-old, smiling as he explained it was better to have hair than not. Both of his parents are all grey, apparently.

Steve Blake:

"Over time you get more comfortable with your teammates, you figure each other out, and for me I as definitely much more comfortable throughout the season and the playoffs. I really loved playing with everybody and enjoyed it, and look forward to coming back and doing it again."

Rooks and Scrubs:

"Please don't cut us" :(

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