Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 11:00 am  |  21 responses

Lakers GM Says a Title Team Can Still Be Built Around Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers inked Kobe Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million deal, and the hoops world went nuts. According to GM Mitch Kupchak, it won’t be easy, but they believe a championship-caliber roster can still be constructed. From the team website and LA Times: “Q: On how much management weighed Kobe’s new contract, or if they talked with Kobe about his new extension, in terms of preserving cap space for 2014 and 2015: Kupchak: ‘The two variables were really how can we compensate Kobe and at the same time maintain financial flexibility. But our feeling was based on existing contracts, could we compensate Kobe on the manner we felt he deserved and at the same time be able to have that substantial flexibility. We don’t have a minimal amount of flexibility. Then you have to weigh what’s going to happen this summer. Everybody forgets that Kobe would to be a free agent this summer, too. We got who we feel is one of the top free agents available this summer, and we still have the ability to pursue other free agents or other opportunities between now and the trading deadline, or this summer, or the next summer based on the flexibility.’ Q: On if he feels the Lakers have enough cap flexibility to build a championship contender in the next couple years with Kobe under contract: Kupchak: ‘I think we do, I think we do. The challenge is there. The collective bargaining agreement doesn’t make it any easier for anybody. It’s restrictive and challenging, but yes, I do believe we can.’ [...] The Lakers and Kobe Bryant agreed to a contract extension Monday, a move the team was willing to make before seeing Bryant return to game action from a torn Achilles’ tendon. ‘We didn’t see the point of waiting,’ said Lakers owner/executive Jim Buss. ‘As far as trusting Kobe coming back on the court, you’re a fool if you don’t think he’s going to [play well]. I have 100% faith.’ Buss joined General Manager Mitch Kupchak on the TWC SportsNet pregame show. ‘There’s no doubt that he’s going to return and that he’ll play at a high level,’ Kupchak said. Bryant is expected to finish his career with a record 20 seasons (at least) in a Lakers uniform. ‘He means so much to the family, the Lakers, the Lakers fans,’ Buss said. ‘It feels good to lock up an icon like that.’”

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  • richardh

    mamba mode on the way

  • shockexchange

    Interpretation: “We have both the winning personality and cap space to attract ‘exceptionally more talent than the rest of the L’” so Horry Jr can win a chip.

  • berkamore

    Well, for a GM, he doesn’t manage expectations well. Unless something drastic happens, the Lakers are at BEST, a playoff team. Goodness, those guys really live on the history channel.

    But then again, what is Kupchak supposed to say? We are spending all that money to be mediocre?

  • Dagger

    The “ancient alien astronauts” part of the history channel, I assume. At this point, they’re the only ones who can make the Lakers contenders with Kobe’s albatross contract.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Kobe Bryant Calls ‘Bullsh*t’ on Criticism of $48 Million Deal

  • bike

    The big IF is what Kobe will be like as a player when he comes back. And no one seems to know when that is.

  • Poon Man

    you skeptics are like the last bit of undecided voters at near end of the elections. usually they are the dumbest groups of people in the bunch so the politicians dont even waste their time on you.

  • bike

    Politicians don’t waste their time on idiots who know nothing about grammar either.

  • LakeShow

    Bout a week.

  • LakeShow

    Shouldn’t be a problem.

    A few loop holes to go through, but all will be well.

  • elliot


  • LakeShow

    Close, but there is no way they are able to achieve the talent of the Clippers, Rockets, Thunder, Warriors, Heat, Nets, Knicks, and Pacers. At best they could have 7th best talent it looks like.

  • thebossman15

    goat metaphor

  • berkamore

    “Ancient alien astronauts”…………I like that. :)

  • Ugh

    Bravo. Heh.

  • Ugh

    Uh.. right. You’re saying nobody woos swinging voters? Are you from Mars?

  • LakeShow

  • LakeShow


  • LakeShow


  • The Seed


  • grgeblck

    That’s right. Let’s go Lakers!