As this season offically enters the "lost" status, it's nice to reflect on the state of the franchise. Basically, since trading fat boy Shaq, this team is a .500 club (actually under .500). We're 112-113 in the regular season, and 3-4 in one postseason appearance. And before you cry injuries and "Luke Walton is God," let's systematically review how this all came to pass. This a review of Kupcake's failures as a GM.
June 2004: Lakers ousted 4-1 by De-toilet in humilating fashion. The beginning of the end.
Draft 2004: Drafts Sasha Vujabrick, a Euro guard who can't shoot and who basically hasn't done squat in three years.
2004: Trades Shaq (MDE) for career underachieving, injury prone Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, a low first-rounder, and cap filling, one legged Brian Grant: Guess what, Odom is still an injury prone underachiver 3 years later and Butler/Grant last one year. Potentially could have had Nash, Jamison, and Howard from Dallas.
2004: Trades GP (who still has value at this point) for stiff white center Chris Mihm, Marcus Banks, and backup PG Chuckles Atkins. GP acts like a little girl, refuses to take a physical, and Kupcake basically urinates on himself. He sends back Banks, who might have helped us, and a first rounder for career nobody Jumaine Jones. Niiiiiice turn of events here.
2004: Signs broken down Vlade Divac, who is a cadaver at this point, and acts surprised when he lasts 2 games. Also brings in some guy named Tierre Brown.
Draft 2005: Probably his high water mark. Drafts Bynum and Turiaf, and then wastes a pick on some clown named Von Wafer.
2005: Trades Caron Butler and Atkins for El Busto, Kwame Brown. Brown has a "terrific" year averaging 7 and 6, and is now known for a cake throwing incident while rehabbing an ankle injury. Butler turns into a 20-8 SF with Washington, and makes all-star team in 2007.
2005: Signs Aaron McKie, LMFAO.
2005: Brings in Rucker Park legend Smush Parker, who somehow is a two year starter here, and has a 1000 post thread on how much he sucks.
Draft 2006: Drafts Jordan Farmar, and trades for Mo Evans. Draft days haven't been bad to Mitch.
2006: Signs Vladamir Crapmonovic for 30 + million --> a one dimensional shooter when we already had a one dimension shooter in Brian Cook. Crapmonovic injures shoulder while snowboarding and completes awful first season here. Safe to say he has been a total bust.
2006: Brings in Shammond Williams for LLE for no reason.
It's nice to know that Mitch enjoys brining in low character guys like Kwame and Vladamir. I won't even get into the fiasco of the Rudy T hiring, but I will mention that the only reason the Lakers even made the playoffs is because of Kobe's MVP caliber season and the fact Phil did an amazing job last year.
So now time to stand up and give a standing ovation for Mitch Kupchak, our savior. You've done wonders, Mitch. And BTW, F you.
His problems began when he didn't inject any new blood into his aging dynasty, and was left with nothing of value to trade for anything else.
You know Fox is getting older, you know Fisher is going to want a big pay day, you know Horry already gets the senior discount at IHOP, and you bring in Slava Medvedenko and Devean "They Like me in Big D" George as your future?
He let Shaq hold him hostage, and get bent over by Miami, and then traded away the real prize of what they got, Butler, and hung on to "he's so long he could be a great player", aka Mr. Glass, aka Gumby, aka Lamar Odom.
As this season offically enters the "lost" status, it's nice to reflect on the state of the franchise. Basically, since trading fat boy Shaq, this team is a .500 club (actually under .500).
I don't think there was a way to keep both Shaq and Kobe with the way things had developed at the time, and I do think that the Lakers made the wise choice by keeping Kobe over Shaq since it looked like Mitch had to make a choice.
With that said, I know some of Kobe fans were praying every night to the High God of Basketball Gr0upies that Shaq would leave the Lakers so Kobe could get all the stats and glory to himself without having to share it with anyone else. Guess what? You got your wish so shut the phuck up. And this is where we are at the moment, in the middle of growing pains, live with it. It's going to take some time, only 3 or 4 teams in the league every year can be considered legit championship contenders.
Bynum, Walton, and Turiaf were all good picks. Mo Evans was a good pickup. Mitch has done a better than average job lately so quit your belly aching.
It seems to me that the trade of Butler for Kwame Brown is the absolute low point. They had a good, young player who was on his rookie contract and improving, and they traded him for a big with questionable skills and work ethic.
Kupchak has done a decent job drafting, IMO. Walton and Bynum are good picks, and Smush Parker is at least a solid rotation guy. The Lakers were relatively devoid of talent other than Shaq and Kobe when he took over, and they had only late draft picks. The Shaq trade certainly seems like a mistake on Mitch's part, but it seems like his hand was forced. If Mitch can move Odom and some spare parts for a big man who can complement Bynum, he'll have put the Lakers back into contention.
I'm not going to join this cannibalistic exercise the Lakers fans are participating in right now, but I will point out one thing. You cannot blame GMs for making bad 2nd round or late 1st round picks, as much as you can for making bad lottery picks. If you pick Kwame with your number one pick, you're a moron. If you took Araujo at 8, you're a moron. But Sasha Vujacic at 27? Von Wafer at 39?
What the f*ck do Lakers fans expect? A good 1/3 or more of second round picks never play a single NBA game, and a few European ones have been known to wait years before they come over. Here's the 2004 Draft:
I'm sure someone's going to point out that Golden State picked Monta Ellis right after the Lakers took Wafer, but who at the time even considered that Ellis would amount to anything? Who had even heard about him?
I think some people expect a little too much from guys picked 25-60.
while i feel mitch cupcake is an incapable GM, i believe jerry buss's son makes most of the decision. butler would have been a better fit for phil jackson's system....i was one of my favs when he was a laker...luke, caron, odom and kobe is a pretty good 4 some...2 scorers and two playmakers...