Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Could GM Mitch Kupchak Leave the Los Angeles Lakers? Fan’s View
However, before Lakers fans either rejoice or cringe, Lazenby added a word of caution.
"I want to stress that what I hear is only talk about Kupchak. But in the past you'd never even hear such talk," Lazenby said.
Let's be honest. Being the GM of the Los Angeles Lakers comes with its fair share of perks, but it also comes with a tremendous amount of pressure. Fans have questioned his decisions from the moment he took over for Jerry West, and even with a few NBA titles on his resume, the job continues to be difficult. It wouldn't surprise me to see Kupchak walk away, especially since the league's new collective bargaining agreement made it harder for the league's large-market clubs to reel in star players.
Think about it. Since taking over the team, Kupchak has dealt with drama surrounding Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, and now he's stuck working with the heavily criticized Jim Buss. If I were Kupchak, I would probably want out of the organization. However, Kupchak is a bit tougher than what many people think. The GM has weathered every storm he's faced with the Lakers, and I have no doubt that Kupchak will persevere through this season as well.
I know there quite a few fans who dislike Kupchak, especially after the unpopular trade that sent Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, but overall, he's done an outstanding job for the Lakers. There are few people out there who could have succeeded in Kupchak's position throughout the last 10 years, and I hope my fellow Lakers fans can understand that he is an asset to the organization.
This doesn't mean Kupchak is perfect. We all know he's made mistakes, but Kupchak has more than made up for them by building a team that won back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010. If Kupchak leaves the Lakers, there's no guarantee that his replacement would do a better job than him. Therefore, I hope the rumors Lazenby is hearing are false, and that Kupchak remains with the Lakers for as long as possible. He's a stronger GM than many people realize.
Derek Ciapala has been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers since childhood. His favorite Lakers' moment is when they beat the Detroit Pistons 108-105 in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.