Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has agreed to terms on a multiyear contract extension. It was announced late in the fourth quarter of a 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets and at near the end to one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Kupchak has one year left on his current contract but this vote of confidence from the Buss family shows the trust they have in him to shape the organization back to a championship-caliber team in the future. The organization knows the massive rebuilding project that the GM has in front of him and they are willing to let him proceed.
The loss to the Rockets gives the Lakers a current 25-53 record this season, duplicating the 1958 franchise record. The Lakers will miss the playoffs for the third time since 1976.
Mitch Kupchak has been in the NBA since 1976 when he was drafted as a player for the Washington Bullets and was part of the team that won the NBA championship in 1978. in 1981, He signed a long-term contract with the Lakers at the request of the legendary point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who told the late owner Jerry Buss, “If we could get Mitch Kupchak, I know we could win,” after the team’s playoff upset. Unfortunately, Kupchak suffered a serious knee injury that kept him of the court until the 1983 season. Kupchak played a key role in the Showtime Lakers’ 1985 championship team against the Boston Celtics.
Kupchak retired after the 1985-86 season and became the Lakers’ assistant general manager. He learned front office management skills under former GM and Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry West. Kupchak succeeded West in 2000 and the 59 year-old has presided over four NBA championships since.