Reporting from Sacramento — Kobe Bryant is trying to nail down a second consecutive most-valuable-player trophy, but he won't be the only one in the Lakers' franchise considered for an award.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Phil Jackson will get some support for executive of the year and coach of the year, respectively.
"We'll finish up either with the best or second-best record in the league," forward Lamar Odom said. "They did their jobs."
Kupchak presided over the trades for Pau Gasol and Trevor Ariza last season, not to mention the drafting of Andrew Bynum with the 10th overall pick in 2005.
Kupchak, in his ninth season as the head of basketball operations for the Lakers, has never won the award, which is determined by a vote of about 125 media members. Kupchak finished second last season to Boston's Danny Ainge.
Jackson has won nine NBA championships but has been coach of the year only once in his 18-year career, when the Chicago Bulls went a record-setting 72-10 on the way to the 1996 NBA championship.
Jackson finished fifth last season in the voting for coach of the year, won by Byron Scott of New Orleans.
Jackson, for the record, said he should not be considered for the award, saying it usually goes to someone coaching a "surprise or an interesting team."
"Last year we finished first in the West and it looks like we're going to do it again now," he said. "I don't think it's an unexpected situation."
Other candidates for executive of the year include Cleveland's Danny Ferry, Orlando's Otis Smith and Denver's Mark Warkentien. Other candidates for coach of the year include Cleveland's Mike Brown, Orlando's Stan Van Gundy and Houston's Rick Adelman.
Re: Article: LA Times - Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak could be in line for awards
Originally Posted by SoCalMike
indeed... which could mean that while he may be respected, he is not liked?
"Jackson, for the record, said he should not be considered for the award, saying it usually goes to someone coaching a "surprise or an interesting team.""
Or, more often it goes to coaches who do more with less. With a dominant Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan for most of his coaching career, Jackson is expected to win games - so it doesn't generate as much discussion/acknowledgement as a coach who surprises everyone with a 50 win season.