Friday , Jan , 04 , 2008 Oly Sandor

L.A. Lakers Could Still Part Ways With GM Mitch Kupchak

After all, the front office and ownership is divided. Different groups exist, each with their own vision for the future. Phil Jackson has his supporters. Of course, there’s the Buss family. And who knows what influence Kobe Bryant still has? Where exactly does Kupchak fit in this mess? …

L.A. Lakers Could Still Part Ways With GM Mitch Kupchak

The Los Angeles Times reports on things turning around for Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak:

Before this season, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was torched for refusing to trade Andrew Bynum. He was ripped in chat rooms and editorial letters and, of course, in that time-honored platform for public criticism known as the Kobe Bryant Parking Lot Video. Thirty games into a new season, and now the entire NBA wants Bynum. Before this season, Kupchak was torched for drafting Jordan Farmar. He was ripped for a lack of scouting acumen, for a lack of common sense, putting Kobe‘s ball in the hands of a mildly skilled kid. Thirty games into a new season, and the entire NBA is marveling over those hands. The signing of Derek Fisher? The Lakers would be lost without him.

My Very Quick Take: Last summer, Kupchak took more public hits than a California hotel heiress and over-the-hill pop star with a Louisiana drawl. He deserves credit for sticking with Bynum -cell phone video be damned- and drafting Farmar.

His record is still mixed, though. Swapping Caron Butler for Kwame Brown hurts. Butler has developed into an All-Star, while Brown hasn’t developed into anything.

So Kupchak isn’t safe. And politics, not personnel moves, could be his undoing. There is still a theory -championed by a certain superstar who shall remain nameless- that the club needs a unifying voice in the executive chair.

After all, the front office and ownership is divided. Different factions exist, each with their own agenda and vision for the future. Phil Jackson has his supporters. Of course, there’s the Buss family. And who knows how much influence Kobe Bryant still has?

Where does Kupchak fit? Can he bring these groups together?

The Lakers winning record is masking off-court issues. Something will eventually give. And that something could still be Kupchack.

Will Kupchak keep his job? Get at us in the comment box below or hit us up in or . Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.