Saturday, July 08, 2006
One on One with Mitch Kupchak, Lakers general manager:
Roman: You talked about signing another guard with your veteran’s exception, who are some of the guys you are looking at?
Kupchak: I’m not going to share that right now but we will be signing someone next week. It will be a ball-handling guard.
Roman: Andrew Bynum has been in the gym all summer, how is he progressing?
Kupchak: We’re looking to see what kind of quantitative progress he’s made in this summer league. I remember 30 years ago when I did it, you’re a rookie and everything is new to you, but you go away after your rookie year and you come back that summer and step on the floor, you have a totally different feel. One thing I noticed in the last week or so, he seems to have gained more assurance and confidence. He’s grown an inch in the last year, his body looks more mature. Initially, he took about three weeks off and you see that everyday, and you don’t notice changes. He took three weeks off at the end of the season and he came back in May with a renewed confidence and maturity. That’s great but we want to see progress on the floor.
Roman: How important is to sign guys who fit into the triangle offense?
Kupchak: We take into consideration, the draft included, although you don’t want to get a guy who’s not very talented but can run the offense. Sometimes you just have to take a guy who’s talented because you just have to. In terms of free agency and getting a player who can play right away, that’s a big part of what we do.
Roman: You’ve played in the summer league for 37 years as an organization, do you see yourself staying at the Long Beach summer league or will you reconsider after this season?
Kupchak: I can’t imagine why we’d ever leave, can you? Our guys get to practice within walking distance of the hotel, they can use our locker room, lift in our weight room. We can schedule practices any time.
The support that we get here is off the charts. If we went to Orlando or Las Vegas, there’s about 100 people in the stands. Why would we do that? Our fans are so passionate. Coupled with the other things I talked about, it makes complete sense to play every year in Southern California. If other teams don’t want to do that, that’s their choice. I have no idea why you wanna do that. Our fan base is incredibly spirited and maybe we’ll get some new fans because we’re the only team here.
Kupchak on Radmanovic: We’re limited as to what we can say about Radmanovic…it’s our intention to sign him as soon as we can which is next Wednesday.
On Farmar: We didn’t draft him because he was in Los Angeles…that was more of a tactic to not draft him than to draft him…he’s a very unique person, he’s very articulate, he has a great feel for the position, he’s a true point guard. He’s a young player, but he has the ability to lead.
Note: Ronny Turiaf is trying out for the French National Team and will not participate in the summer league. Turiaf has made the 15 man cut. There will be another cut down to 12, but he expects to make the team. Sasha Vujacic will also not play in the summer league for unspecified reasons.