Mitch Kupchak was first acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1981. From that point on, he’s been a fixture with the organization in some role or another. Of those in the front office involved with Tuesday’s huge and somewhat unexpected transition, only Mitch Kupchak will have no tie back to the franchise he won titles for, on and off the court.
When the Lakers announced that Kupchak and Jim Buss would be relieved of their duties, neither made a statement in the official press release. Kupchak, rarely a man of many words, might have wanted to hold off on any such public comment until he could took inventory of what had just occurred.
Wednesday morning, that changed, though Jim has yet to make a statement and frankly, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he passed on any such opportunity for quite some time, given his recluse nature.
Here’s what Kupchak had to say, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.
Statement from ex-Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who was fired from his post Tuesday: pic.twitter.com/N2hdJyIsVp— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) February 22, 2017
Pretty straightforward, professional stuff, as is to be expected of Kupchak.
You can’t help but feel for him, either, as he was so personally invested in this organization and probably feels as if he’s been shown the door after most of the hard work in piecing together the young core Magic Johnson hopes to develop — as well as the coach who hopes to guide it.
If he wants to, Kupchak can probably find another job in the NBA whenever he wants, though no one would blame him for wanting some time away after 30-plus years in one of the most dramatic franchises in American professional sports.
Lastly, and it’s been noted before, but should never go forgotten, but Kupchak could probably have saved his job by trading a couple pieces of the young core for DeMarcus Cousins, yet he passed because it wasn’t what he thought was best for the franchise. Nothing but respect.
Best of look moving forward, Mitch.