Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anothony? Please!
I knew it then but the world is finding out now just how disastrous it would have been to move Young Drew for Melo.
But I’m not here to gloat about my own common sense musings. No, this is even more praise for Mitch Kupchak who not only kept Drew but also kept the same roster for the remainder of the regular season.
While keeping Bynum was as big a no-brainer as banning Wyclef from running for the Haitian Presidency, standing pat with the current roster took some serious stones. But that’s what comes with the GM job for the Lakers.
Kupchak was under serious pressure to make a move as he watched his team crumble under the pressure to three-peat. Everyone from Jerry West to Adam West seemed to have an opinion on just what the Lakers needed to do in order to shake things up.
Kupchak himself even hinted that perhaps it was time to give the roster a re-working. But that always seemed more motivational tactic than actual threat.
We heard it all.
Get rid of Artest. Dump Drew. Move Odom.
Well, 10 wins against 1 loss during the most important stretch of the regular season has certainly quieted all that talk.
I’ll admit there were some tense moments when you wondered if the wheels were getting ready to come off. Ron Ron was contributing next to nothing while Pau was powerless in the post. All those miles began to look like they were taking their toll on Kobe but then again that looked like it was happening in the first round against OKC last year too. How’d that turn out?
We all know better than to panic with Phil Jackson at the helm. His calm can be mistaken for cockiness but with two fists full of rings you should expect a certain resolve. The kind of resolve Stan Van Gundy just doesn’t yet have and Mike Brown never will.
So let’s give some props to GM Mitch for keeping his cool and in the face of adversity doing what is most difficult of all – nothing.
It is too early to take a victory lap. That can only happen if it’s during a parade through downtown. But for now his ability to resist the urge of panic dialing is proving to be the most valuable non-move made all year.
Oh, and for the record, the Knicks are playing .500 ball since landing Melo. Not saying we’re comparing apples to apples here but imagine the windfall had the Lake Show shipped off Drew and continued their uninspired play with Carmelo in Purple and Gold.
Well played, Mitch!