Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak sat down for a 45-minute press conference on Friday, closing out the franchise’s worst season since its move to LA.
Although Kobe Bryant was in Paris celebrating his anniversary with his wife, Kupchak had some words of advice on patience for the guard.
“I’ve already used the word patience I think once or twice, so if (Bryant) is in Europe watching this, I’m sure he’s saying, ‘Why is Mitch using the word patience?’” Kupchak said at the press conference. “He’s not the most patient person in the world. And that’s never going to change.
“We want the same thing. We both want to win as much and as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get in the position that we’re in where we have options financially going forward for the next year or two or three and we just have to make wise decisions using that space. If you don’t make a wise decision, then you can set yourself back 6-7 years, and we don’t want to do that.”
Bryant, though, might not have much time left to wait out a rebuilding period. The 35-year-old Lakers star is in the final two seasons of his contract and has made no attempt to hide his disdain for losing. In the summer of 2007, Kobe demanded to be traded and threatened he would rather “go play on Pluto” than join the Lakers for another season. This year, he noted in a press conference that he has “not one lick” of patience for Lakers management and their struggle to revive the team as a playoff contender.
Kupchak did give Bryant’s inflamed passion some credit, saying it has aided the team’s previous success as well.
“Because of that, we’ve been to the Finals a bunch of times and we’ve won five championships. So, it’s hard to criticize him.”
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