Mitch Kupchak on Beginning the 2011-12 Season

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak discusses the challenges of the truncated timeframe him and his staff have before the start of the NBA season.

Q: On things being extremely busy in the business operations office:
Kupchak: There is a lot that needs to be tackled at this time on short notice. You have to put together a staff, determine scheduling issues and understand how to deal with what the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is going to spell out in terms of what you can and can’t do regarding your roster. That covers free agency, trades, waiving players and all kinds of things. Part of it is scrambling to get your team ready to play games, the other is understanding what the rules are to put together a roster. We're learning what we can so we aren’t that far behind.

Q: On the disparity in focus on 2011-12 and subsequent seasons:
Kupchak: You always have to look to the future. Everything you do always has ramifications going forward, and that’s the job of a general manager. Coach Brown understands that his job is to win right away. I suppose some coaches feel they have they have time to slowly bring their teams along, but not in Los Angeles. So the coaches are really focused on today, while management focuses on both today and the future.

Q: On if there is a particular area within the roster that really needs to be addressed:
Kupchak: I’m working with our coach on our roster – I’ve been working with him, and we have a feel for the rules, even though we don’t know what they are exactly. Looking at our board, the free agents that we have, we are probably a little bit short in the backcourt. We could probably use another player in the frontcourt as well. We were ready to do this on July 1, and the only thing that has really changed is some of the players that havegone overseas to play. But for the most part, the same names that were available on July 1 will be available now. Since we are prepared for that, it doesn’t call for too much additional preparation.

Q: On the changes to L.A.’s staff:
Kupchak: We’re working on putting together a complete staff, as it was a skeleton staff over the summer. Now we have to bring certain staff members back, some of whom have moved on to other opportunities, so they have to be replaced. There is still some staff for Coach Brown that needs to be added, like advance scouts, strength and conditioning coaches and developmental coaches.

Q: On the next few weeks:
Kupchak: The mantra of a general manager is, just give me the rules and let me do my job. We’ll all have the same rules. We talk to ownership, and then just go do our job.