Mitch Kupchak Says Dr. Buss's Health Led To Lakers Hasty Coaching Change

2/28/13 in NBA   |   natsaar   |   160 respect

August 10, 2012; El Segundo, CA, USA;   Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak during the press conference held to introduce the three-time defensive player of the year who was aquired in a four-team trade from the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsThis is not something Los Angeles Lakers fans want to hear while their team is struggling to make it to the playoffs.

It came as a shock to some when the Lakers fired Coach Mike Brown very early on in the season, and it seems that their decisions were driven by urgency.

Mitch Kupchak explained:

“The one thing that was a big factor is our lack of patience. When we made the changes we made in the offseason, we really did it with a two- or maybe even a three-year window, probably a two-year window to do our best and win a championship. And clearly we knew Dr. Buss was not in great health, and we were hoping for the next year or two we could put something on the court that would result in being in the hunt at the end of the year for a championship.

And when we didn’t feel we could get there after a preseason and a small number of games, we didn’t feel we had the patience to wait and see if it was going to work out. And that’s really why we made the change we made so early.

We could’ve waited another month or two, but at the time I believe we were 1-4. And if we would’ve waited another month we could’ve turned it around, or we could’ve been 2-12. We just didn’t want to wait. And that’s because we feel our best chance to win is this year and next year.”


It makes sense that they made the change, if they figured they were going to anyway, but what doesn't make sense is the hasty hiring of Mike D'Antoni, and not opting for Phil Jackson.

If they wanted to win now, Jackson would have been the obvious choice over D'Antoni because he's worked with some of the players before, namely Kobe Bryant. He also has actually won a championship, or 11.

It's the wonderful world of sports where anything can happen, though, so maybe they can beat the odds and win a championship in honor of Dr. Buss's memory.  

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