Mitch Kupchak

Mitch Kupchak

The Woj Pod - September 25, 2017

Mitch Kupchak joins The Woj Pod to discuss his storied career as Los Angeles Lakers general manager, his dismissal in February, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson and David Stern’s veto of the Chris Paul trade. 1:02: Kupchak’s early basketball career and the impact of AAU basketball on young players. 3:57: How he was persuaded to focus on basketball instead of baseball. 8:59: Being recruited by some of the great college coaches of all-time. 11:30: Choosing UNC and playing for Dean Smith, including the bond between former Tar Heels. 17:27: Not being part of a basketball team for the first time since he was a child. 19:59: Kupchak’s abrupt exit from the Lakers. 26:15: The criticism that Kupchak’s adherence to league rules hurt the Lakers in free agency. 31:16: 34:40: The sense of urgency to return to the playoffs, which led to signing Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. 37:19: Navigating the family dynamics of the Buss family. 42:57: Why the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson in 2012. 47:51: Acquiring Pau Gasol in 2008. 50:13: Kobe Bryant’s trade request in 2007. 55:02: The vetoed Chris Paul trade in 2011 and the decision to trade Lamar Odom shortly after. 1:06:26: The opportunity to learn from other front offices during his time off.

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Adrian Wojnarowski, the most dominant force in NBA reporting, brings you inside the league with The Woj Pod. Woj is probing the biggest newsmakers in the sport – from the commissioner, to general managers, coaches and star players – to bring listeners inside the processes, personas and stories that impact the NBA. Beyond longer sit-down interviews in our New York studios, Woj will deliver real-time podcasts with league personnel built around breaking news.

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Adrian Wojnarowski