While everybody else in Los Angeles is basking in the afterglow of a 15th NBA title, Mitch Kupchak is in bed by 10pm in order to get to the office by 9am. Its business as usual for the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Luckily, through a source that will remain unnamed, I was able to sneak a peek at his daily diary.
9:07am – First call of the day is to David Lee (Trevor Ariza’s agent). Trevor is due a raise and I’m not about to be the guy linked with Jerry Krause as the greatest dynasty destroyer ever.
9:19am – Just got off the horn with Lee. This is going to be more difficult than I thought. I forgot that Lee reps Bynum too. Its really hard to sell a guy on the fact that one of his clients was worth $57 million after proving nothing and the other is only worth $20-30 million after being a major factor in a title run. Oh boy…
9:34am – Next call is to Jeff Schwartz (Lamar Odom’s agent). This call is going to be even more brutal than the last. How do you convince a guy to take a 50% pay cut?
9:35am – Is it a bad sign that Schwartz laughed right before I heard the dial tone?
9:55am – Just spent the last 20 minutes banging my head on the desk for giving Sasha that contract last year.
9:56am – Note to self: stop giving phat deals to Eastern Europeans. Why didn’t I learn from the Radmanovic debacle? Thank God Jerry West left me that post-it note that said, “No matter what, DON’T EXTEND SLAVA MEDVEDENKO!!!!!”
10:17am – Gotta get Dr. Buss on the line. I need to know if he’s going to foot the luxury tax for getting L.O. and Trevor to stay in purple and gold.
10:25am – I forgot that Dr. Buss was on his way to Italy. Damn! Now I’ve gotta get in even earlier to talk to him.
10:38am – Time to talk to Phil Jackson for his exit interview, I hope Jeanie isn’t still giving him grief for not removing his “X” hat since last Sunday.
10:49am – Not sure if Phil is coming back or not next year, but that “X” hat is starting to stink like Zaza Pachulia’s sweaty back hair.
11:19am – Great, Shannon Brown is next…
11:25am – I couldn’t even look Shanwow in the eyes. It got a little awkward when he asked me how many shots Sasha made in the finals. I looked around the room for a second, thankfully my phone rang. Unfortunately it was Schwartz laughing even harder than before. I just hung up and thanked Shannon for helping me get Radmanovic out of town.
11:38am – Adam Morrison, Sun Yue and DJ Mbenga all came in together. Really not much else to say to those guys except, “Thanks for not hurting Kobe in practice this year.”
11:53am – Just spent the last 15 minutes hitting my left hand with a mallet for that contract I gave to Sasha last summer. Oh great, Sasha is the next interview.
12:09pm – By far the worst moment of my day. I didn’t say much, Sasha kept thanking me for helping to pay for his mother’s laser hair removal. As he walked out I quoted my favorite line from The Hangover to him, “Quid pro quo, douche bag”. Don’t think he got it, but it made me feel much better.
12:13pm – Can’t stop laughing thinking about The Hangover. By far, the funniest movie I’ve seen since The Happening. It really is too bad that more people just don’t get Shyamalan’s humor. He truly is a comedic genius. Lady in the Water raised the bar. I never thought anybody could out do Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.
12:33pm – Lunch time! I’m off to Del Taco. Best chili-cheese fries known to mankind! How ironic that a taco joint makes one of the best burgers too?
1:48pm – Glad that there are no more interviews today. Tomorrow will be much better.
2:12pm – Schwartz called again. He finally stopped laughing then asked me a weird series of questions. He said, “Would you pay $200,000 for a Ferrari California?” I said, “Yes, of course”. He then asked, “Would you pay $200,000 for a Hennessy Viper?” I replied, “Hell no! Its still a Dodge” Then he drops, “But you paid $9 million for Kwame Brown, so either you know dick about cars or have no idea of the worth of a dollar!” Then he hung up. What was that about?
2:36pm – I finally got what Schwartz meant, took me a minute becasue the analogy was a little vague. I really need Dr. Buss to cut his youngest son’s Vegas budget so we can get Lamar and Trevor back. Is it really too much to ask the kid not to go to Rain or the Rum Jungle every other week? Why can’t he just use his dad’s money right here in L.A.? Two less trips on the family G5 and one less round of lap dances at Olympic Garden would equal three more titles. And people think this job is all about scouting and trades. If only they knew…
2:48pm – Gotta get ready for the draft next week. I’ll keep it local and will just go with Taj Gibson in round one. He’s got some of that Rony Turiaf spirit our fans love and he’s another Pac-10 guy from an L.A. school, keeps everybody happy. As for our first pick in round two, well I’m loving this 7 foot Ukrainian kid, Vyacheslav Kravstov. What can I say, I love the Eastern Euros. Mark my words, had Sabonis come over earlier and Petrovic had a full career, the rest of the NBA would be in the same boat as I am. Don’t let Darko and Tskitishvili be the two apples that ruin the bunch!
3:15pm – Cutting the day short, I’ve got a flight to catch. We’re having a farewell dinner for Kevin McHale.
3:18pm – Note to self: Make sure to roast McHale for wasting Kevin Garnett’s prime on the Joe Smith contract debacle. Then turn the tables by reminding the room that we both were duped by Eastern European guards, him with Marco Jaric and me with Sasah Vujacic. Then just point to Rod Thorn and say, “But at least we didn’t think Zoran Planinic was the next Jason Kidd!”
Topics: Mitch Kupchak