Fire Mitch Kupchak sign now

Whereas:
The obligations, duties, and responsibilities of an NBA General Manager, as established by precedent and the expectations of the Los Angeles Lakers and their followers, include but are not limited to basketball operations, basketball scouting, player management and evaluation and the overall business of basketball.

And Whereas:
Mitch Kupchak, Vice President of Basketball Operations & General Manager, has failed to fulfill his duties in a manner consistent with the well being and continued success of the Los Angeles Lakers. The following points outline the specific failures of Mr. Kupchak (not in chronological order):

1. Traded Shaquille O'Neal to the Miami Heat for Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler: Often referred to as the "Worst Trade in Modern NBA History" or "The Panic Trade to End All Panic Trades." Something that will live in Lakers/NBA lore forever as a bonehead move. It's Mitch Kupchak should've met O'Neal's trade demand with the following response: "We'll trade you when we have an equitable deal on the table, and not an hour sooner. Until then, you either play for the Los Angeles Lakers, or you forfeit millions upon millions of dollars and play for nobody." Instead, the Lakers rushed into a sucker deal with an old friend, Pat Riley, and made an instant contender of the Miami Heat. Bryant became the solitary star. The Lakers ripped off a 34-48 season, making fools of everyone but the two Bigs the Big Diesel and Big Chief Triangle. Keep in mind, a savvy negotiator (cough**Jerry West**cough) could have gotten Dirk Nowitzki and STEVE NASH.

2. A complete lack of quality Free Agent Signings and/or Trades. Name one winner. Samaki Walker? Who? Karl Malone and Gary Payton were clearly signed because of Shaq's influence. Who are some guys you can credit to Mitch? Devean George? Vlade Divac? You never see Kupchak picking up a good role player in free agency that really helps the team. A guy like Tony Massenburg, a tough guy who the Spurs picked up, could really have helped the Lakers. Or Steve Nash. Or Brent Barry. Or ANYONE of real value. It should also be noted since "rebuilding" began Mitch has passed over opportunities to sign: Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Stromile Swift, Jamal Maglorie, Nick Van Excel, Michael Finley and many, many more.

3. He let Robert Horry, one of the greatest role players and leaders in NBA history, go for nothing in return.

4. Mitch let the Shaq/Kobe/Phil feud get out of control. When did it all begin to fall apart? As soon as West left. Duh. Not hard to figure out what the glue in that situation was.

5. He threw the '04-05 season away completely (due to poor planning and management). The season, obviously, was a horrendous failure. It seems someone would have to take the blame. Kupchak certainly didn't do very well on the trade market (I'm including his non-trade at the February deadline, basically conceding the season). Trading Shaquille O'Neal, and taking on Brian Grant's horrible contract (and his bad knees), and trading Gary Payton, and not figuring out a way to get Marcus Banks in the deal were just plain bad moves. It is as if Kupchak is INTENT on wasting Kobe Bryant's prime years.

6. Los Angeles hasn't made a decent draft pick since Kobe in 1996, save for Luke Walton. Kupchak has simply coasted for years, knowing that he had the two best players in the NBA. Until he didn't. Look at Kupchak's first round picks: Kareem Rush, Sasha Vujacic, and Brian Cook. Do you see a pattern? Everyone one of these guys is a shooter who can't defend or pass. Three years in a row! Not once did he think to bring in tough, banger like Carlos Boozer (who was available to be taken one of those years). In all fairness, Mr. Kupchak did take 17 yr. old Andrew Bynum out of high-school. While this pick may turn out to be of value, that won't be for years to come. With a team that is struggling to make the playoffs, taking a long-term project like Bynum was ignorant and irresponsibly wishful. Also, the Vujacic pick came BEFORE players of greater value and potential: for example, Anderson Varejгo, Chris Duhon, or Trevor Ariza.

7. He let Gary Payton and Danny Ainge take him to the cleaners in the trade to Boston by not manning up and calling Gary Payton's bluff about reporting to the Celts. Bottom line... couldn't see through the charade and cost the Lakers Marcus Banks.

8. The Lakers had a championship team but Kupchak didn't capitalize because he failed to simply keep the ship going in the right direction. None of his moves helped them win those championships, and now his ill-fated drafts and free agency signings are coming back to haunt them.

9. Trading away a draft pick for Horace Grant in the year of one of the deepest drafts in history. He tried to get it back because that was the year when Arenas was there.

10. The '07 Plan (to grab a premiere Free Agent in the Summer of 2007) is a pipe dream. The new CBA renders this plan all but useless. What premiere Free Agent is going to wait to cash in just to sign with the Lakers? Amare? Yao? No one. That's who. But wait, there's always the '08 plan. The '09 plan etc. etc. etc. PIPE DREAM.

11. Mitch Failed to rebuild with ANY proficiency this summer. An off-season with a M.L.E, three draft picks, and one valuable trading chip in Caron Butler and Kupchak came away with a bust (Kwame Brown), Aaron McKie (so far past useful, it's not even funny) and Laron Profit (who?!).

a) The Lakers' frontcourt had a massive holes at both Center and Power Forward and lacked any depth.
b) We needed a legitimate Point Guard playmaker.
c) We needed to fill out the pieces of the Triangle, a specific rebounder, a 3 point shooter (Kapono), a low post threat (Curry) and a real initiator.

Therefore:
We the fans and faithful followers of the Los Angeles Lakers solemnly declare that, Mitch Kupchak, General Manger of said team, has failed to fulfill his obligations, duties, and responsibilities as mentioned above and has failed to secure a competitive team. He has shown less than adequate resolve to address the issues surrounding said obligations and failed to live up to the high standards that are expected of a Los Angeles Lakers General Manager.

And Therefore:
We the Lakers faithful DEMAND that Lakers' General Manager be relieved of duty and/or resign immediately.



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Ross NewmanBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
Dr. Jerry Buss, Los Angeles Lakers Owner

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