Mitch Kupchak spent many years under the wing of Jerry West, learning the ins and outs of management after a successful playing career. His early years as a General Manger still meant that he had West at his side, but as soon as he was given control of the position, he succeeded. The stability he provides the Los Angeles Lakers organization makes the extension the right move.
Kupchak has made many big moves in his career, and understands the winning culture of the franchise. He signed Karl Malone and Gary Payton after not winning a fourth consecutive title, going for it all. He made the trade for Chris Paul after not completing a three-peat, even though the trade was voted against by the league. He also brought Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to Los Angeles, and if not for injuries, it could have been a special season for the Lakers.
There have been several hiccups along the way, including the aftermath of the Howard trade, and the failed signings of Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni. But, no GM is perfect, and Kupchak’s ability to gamble efficiently has helped the Lakers win five championships in 15 years.
Kupchak knows how to put together a winning team, and is not afraid to make the big move. He is patient when he needs to be, but will trade younger players in order to find the next marketable superstar. He understands the brand name that the Lakers possess, and is the right man going forward. The Lakers will need some big moves to make Bryant’s last two years a success, and there is no doubt that Kupchak will do everything in his power to make it happen.