Sunday , Jun , 24 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Mitch Kupchak Should Play Kobe Bryant Tapes Of Old L.A. Lakers

Kupchak, the Lakers’ GM, and Bryant had a sit-down meeting … What was discussed will stay between the two, but a Bryant trade will be difficult in the current market … Kupchak, as a last resort to establish some credibility with Kobe, should play a tape of his old Laker teams … Click here for news and analysis …

L.A. Times’ writer Mike Bresnahan reports on and Mitch Kupchak’s Friday meeting:

The unhappy superstar met with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak for about an hour at the team’s training facility in El Segundo. Although it was believed that their first face-to-face meeting since the nine-time All-Star made a public plea to rehire Jerry West didn’t change Bryant’s mind as far as his trade demand, it did open a new dialogue between Bryant and management, sources said.

Kupchak declined to provide any specifics of their conversation, which took place a day after Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett reportedly vetoed a trade to Boston.

"We did meet, and what was said between the two of us will remain between us," Kupchak said.

My Quick Take: It was ironic. Like one of those creepy episodes of the Twilight Zone.

I’m reading the above article on Mitch Kupchak, the GM, when Mitch Kupchak, the player, appears on my television.

One of my boys, a hard-core Laker fan, lent me a video of game six of the 1984-85 NBA Finals between L.A. and Boston.

I was surfing the net and watching the tube at the same time. Who says men can’t multi-task-especially when it involves sports?

Here’s the point: I had forgotten the embattled GM was a back-up forward on some classic purple-and gold squads. I put my laptop down and focused on the game.

The Lakers took game six, capturing yet another NBA Title. There was Magic-rocking his ear-to-ear grin. Kareem was so graceful and fluid. James Worthy, Byron Scott, and Michael Cooper were doing their thing.  And there was Kupchak, a reserve forward, grabbing rebounds and knocking over every Celtic in sight.

Kupchak, the GM, is taking so much abuse it’s easy to forget he played for the Showtime Lakers.

Most of the criticism is fair. His track record as GM isn’t great. But Kupchak better pick his GM-game up because his team is in crisis mode.

Right now, the Lakers are struggling to get a decent offer for superstar stud Kobe Bryant. Other teams know it’s a buyer’s market, so they’re trying to acquire #24 on the cheap. Then there’s the problem with equal value. You can’t get equal value for Bryant. It doesn’t exist.

Kobe Bean may have to stay in Hollywood for a while because completing a trade will take time. This gives Kupchak another opportunity to sell Bryant on staying with the Lakers

I think this gives new meaning to the term "hard sell."

The GM should consider playing Bryant tapes of his old Laker team winning the 1984-85 NBA Title. Fair or not, it’s all the credibility Kupchak has left.

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