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Kupchak: Buss' health led to win-now decisions

The SportsXchange

The decision to fire Mike Brown early this season as Los Angeles Lakers coach and the offseason acquisitions of center Dwight Howard and guard Steve Nash were prompted by the urgency of trying to win a championship for owner Jerry Buss.

With Buss' health deteriorating, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said there was a feeling that the moves were necessary to help bring Buss an 11th NBA title.

"When we made the changes we made in the offseason, we really did it with a two- or maybe even a three-year window, probably a two-year window to do our best and win a championship," Kupchak told CBS' Eye on Basketball. "And clearly we knew Dr. Buss was not in great health."

The Lakers were 1-4 when Brown was fired and later replaced by Mike D'Antoni.

"If we would've waited another month, we could've turned it around, or we could've been 2-12," Kupchak said. "We just didn't want to wait. And that's because we feel our best chance to win is this year and next year."

Buss died earlier this month after a long battle with cancer.
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