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Thread: Lakers Preseason Press Conference

  1. #1

    Lakers Preseason Press Conference



    Mitch Kupcheck:Good morning and thanks for coming out. Obviously, the last season was a bit of a disappointment in terms of a first round exit, but we had a lot of forces working against us last year. We never consider injuries an excuse but it was certainly a factor in how the playoffs turned out. throughout the season we had a total of 12 games played with all 5 of our starters and as we saw, the chemistry just wasn’t there.

    Mitch Kupcheck: With last year in the books, we have moved forward after our exit interviews and continued to shape out team in the mold we envisioned. Clearly everyone knows about our blockbuster deal to make a move for Kobe Bryant, who is the best player at his position in the league and is probably the best defender at his position. With Kobe we get a guy on the same tier as Timmy with that unquenchable desire to win. We are truly excited about this acquisition, as he was a guy we've been trying to get our hands on for 7 seasons now.




    Mitch Kupcheck: With that we also resigned Shane Battier, who sacrificed a tremendous amount of money to stay in L.A. and be a part of our tradition for winning. Shane we knew we had to retain for his outstanding defense. when you look at the West you see Melo, Jamison, Johnson, Prince, Deng, Gay, Hill and Durant at the 3 spot for teams that can make the playoffs. We consider being able to defend that 3 spot an X factor in being able to advance in the playoffs now and in the future and Shane and Josh will play a big parts in that.



    Mitch Kupcheck: Along with our major aquisitions via trades and free agency we brought in two new guys from the draft, Rodney Stuckey, who we felt was a steal and Dequan Cook who we think can help us spread the floor; something we severely lacked last season. With Stuckey we think we have a guy who can really play that combo guy off the bench. He's got a lot of skills for the 1 and the two, so rather than square peg round hole him, we're going to go out and let him be himself. We know we got a good basketball player.


    Mitch Kupcheck:I'll open the floor up not to questions for myself Kobe to Timmy.


    "I don't know if people know — I dislocated my pinkie finger. And [Tyreke] told me, 'You wanna go home or you wanna be here?' I want to be here. And he said, 'All right, then go tape it up and let's play. Let's go. We not stoppin' at no stores. Straight gas. That's what we do, just keep going.'"

    http://thebasketbawlblog.com/

  2. #2

    Lakers Preseason Press Conference

    This is Joe Detroit from multiple Pistons media outlets. Did the propensity for injury displayed by your team last year lead to you dealing McGrady, one of the biggest offenders? Do you believe that players have a built in "rating" when it comes to injury and had McGrady showed he didn't have the ability to stay on the floor? What is Kobe's injury history and do you expect him to stay on the floor more than what McGrady gave you last year?

    Follow-up: have you fired you strength and condition staff as well as your team doctors?



  3. #3
    Mitch Kupcheck: I know certainly could seem like T Mac's injury riddled season had something to do with us moving him, but that's just not accurate. There's maybe 3-5 guys in the entire league we consider moving T Mac for and only 1 at his position which happened to Kobe. There was an opportunity and we pulled the trigger. As far as ratings go, i'm sure some guys have more of a propensity to get injured compared to others. I'll allow Kobe to answer about his injury history.

    Kobe Bryant: Thanks Mitch. You know, i think my injury history speaks for itself. Look at the last 7 years and see i've missed an average of about 3 games per season and frankly I don't miss games unless the training staff forces me to miss it. I love the game and it takes a lot for me to not play.

  4. #4
    Max Contract Pelicans78's Avatar
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    With the timing of this press conference, is the team finished with signing players or is there more work to be done in FA?

    Emeka Okafor - Joe Smith - Carmelo Anthony - Manu Ginobili - Jason Williams

    Al Jefferson - James Posey - Aaron McKie - Shaun Livingston

  5. #5
    Mitch Kupcheck: We're never done tweeking, everyone should know that. We're only going after guys with our MLE that can contribute and play a good amount of minutes every game. If i had to point at one major critique of myself it would be not maximixing that MLE. Stiking gold with it hasn't meant a ton in previous seasons but with the luxury tax increases looming it's essential that we use it only for a player that can contribute. If you look at our cap figure, we're getting pretty close to the $11 Million over mark meaning a MLE could cost us in the range of 15 league points.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post
    Mitch Kupcheck: I know certainly could seem like T Mac's injury riddled season had something to do with us moving him, but that's just not accurate. There's maybe 3-5 guys in the entire league we consider moving T Mac for and only 1 at his position which happened to Kobe. There was an opportunity and we pulled the trigger. As far as ratings go, i'm sure some guys have more of a propensity to get injured compared to others. I'll allow Kobe to answer about his injury history.

    Kobe Bryant: Thanks Mitch. You know, i think my injury history speaks for itself. Look at the last 7 years and see i've missed an average of about 3 games per season and frankly I don't miss games unless the training staff forces me to miss it. I love the game and it takes a lot for me to not play.
    I wasn't suggesting that the reason you made this move was because of T-Mac's injury and not because of it being for Kobe. Just wanted your thoughts on T-Mac's injuries and what your team should expect from the medical staff for the upcoming season.

  7. #7
    Max Contract Pelicans78's Avatar
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    Do you feel like last year's injuries was the biggest reason for the lower seed and do you feel like this year's squad has a chance to get the 1st seed?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicans78 View Post
    Do you feel like last year's injuries was the biggest reason for the lower seed and do you feel like this year's squad has a chance to get the 1st seed?

    Tim Duncan: I'll take that one. You know we certainly felt like injuries played a large factor in our seeding. It seems like as soon as we got 1 person back 2 more went down, it was really a wasted year for us. The main direction the team took last year of putting more on the shoulders Tracy and I really helped play into the impact that injuries could have on us. I'm not second guessing that one bit, but it's obvious if you keep 3 stars versus 2, you can keep the ship afloat a little longer. Like i said though, I'm not second guessing the moves because if you look at it, we had a historically bad year injury wise; worst i can remember for any team.

    Tim Duncan: With that being said, i'm not sure our goals have been defined this year until we get a 12 man roster together, :::Laughs::: but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the Lakers goals are every season. Win the division, Win the Conference, and Win the Championship. We think adding a guy like Kobe to our ranks can only improve our chances. We look through the West and we think you need to come through L.A. to win the Title, and we like our chances versus anyone.

  9. #9
    No White Flags Soundwave's Avatar
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    Clark Kent, Daily Planet,

    Please share your thoughts on Super.... er, Birdman's contract controversy with The Raptors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Conroy View Post
    I feel like I'm wasting my time compared to Sound.
    Quote Originally Posted by NOLa. View Post
    I think Sound just upped the standards in the league.
    GM of the Year


  10. #10
    Jimeert Freedet 4 Prez IamQuailman's Avatar
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    Will Maukie from BUCKSNATION.COM. Have you fired your medical staff?



  11. #11
    Hi lost Seattle reporter, anyways, approximately what win total do you think it will take to dethrone the improving Seattle Sonics who recorded 55 wins last season? Do you feel your team can reach that total as they are a team built for the playoffs with questionable depth after the formidable 8 man rotation?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by IamQuailman View Post
    Will Maukie from BUCKSNATION.COM. Have you fired your medical staff?
    Mitch Kupcheck:No. Injuries happen.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBall Reasons View Post
    Hi lost Seattle reporter, anyways, approximately what win total do you think it will take to dethrone the improving Seattle Sonics who recorded 55 wins last season? Do you feel your team can reach that total as they are a team built for the playoffs with questionable depth after the formidable 8 man rotation?

    Kobe Bryant: I'm new to the West but i'll take this. As far as win totals we think anywhere in that 50-55 games will out us in a good position to win the West. I have a lot of respect for that Seattle team and personally think they'll improve, but i'm not sure if it'll show up in the win column. As far as us versus them, I'd take us 100 times out of 100.

    Mitch Kupcheck As far as depth, we feel like we have one of the better benches in the West. So i'm not really sure what you're talking about there. We're also working on signing a few guys via Free agency to round out the rest of the roster. Not many teams are done with the depth piece of their rosters at this point.

  14. #14
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! NOLa.'s Avatar
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    Jason Jones from the Kings Corner. The Lakers are locked and loaded, especially on defense. Will anything less than the #1 seed in the West and appearance to WCF be considered a let down with your cast of stars?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by NOLa. View Post
    Jason Jones from the Kings Corner. The Lakers are locked and loaded, especially on defense. Will anything less than the #1 seed in the West and appearance to WCF be considered a let down with your cast of stars?

    Tim Duncan: You know, the goals are simple here, win a championship or it's a disapointment, but we try not to get into if we don't meet certain milestones during the regular season it's a failure. I could see coach resting the starters in the last week of the season and give up a 1 seed ot make sure his guys are rested before the playoffs. There's also other factors like injuries as we battled through last year that can be a high hurdle during this 82 game season. So we're more about learning the team and learning to play together during the regular season and then locking in during the playoffs. From a personal standpoint though, anything less than a finals vitory would be tough to deal with. I've been there twice in my career and i refuse to go home a loser again.

    Tim Duncan: This kind of goes hand in hand with the question above and we have to realize that in the last two seasons a lot of the bottom of the West has taken tremendous strides on upgrading their talent. So what was a near guarantee'd 4 wins in Sacremento 2 years ago could end up being a split, You could drop one to the Nuggets that you wouldn't have last year, and that's before of any of the big free agents have moved to a new destinated. So we have a ton of respect for these teams as well as the top of the West, and it would be a diservice to all these teams to throw in a guarantee or anything like.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post

    Mitch Kupcheck As far as depth, we feel like we have one of the better benches in the West. So i'm not really sure what you're talking about there. We're also working on signing a few guys via Free agency to round out the rest of the roster. Not many teams are done with the depth piece of their rosters at this point.
    Shelden and Childress have proved their worth in the league but Garcia only played 57 games in his 2 seasons in the league and Daequan Cook and Rodney Stuckey are rookies. Do you count on them playing 10-15 minutes per game with a contender with so much inexperience or do you go out and grab players in FA? If so how much salary are you ready to add as a luxury tax team?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBall Reasons View Post
    Shelden and Childress have proved their worth in the league but Garcia only played 57 games in his 2 seasons in the league and Daequan Cook and Rodney Stuckey are rookies. Do you count on them playing 10-15 minutes per game with a contender with so much inexperience or do you go out and grab players in FA? If so how much salary are you ready to add as a luxury tax team?
    Mitch Kupcheck: I think we're looking for Franciso to come in and play some backup minutes at the 2 or 3 like you said but a little closer to 10 MPG than 15. We're going to bring Stuckey along a little slower if we can with some spot minutes at the 1 and 2 and we'll be looking to add some depth at all positions in the rest of the FA period. As far as the cap is concerned, we typically hover at around the 10 over mark and could go as high as 13-14 with a team we feel is this special.

  18. #18
    Sports Guy Bill Simmons here, plan on talking any strategy. You have a couple of scoring champions there, who's gonna be the #1? Will Kidd be an option or are you going to try to let him focus on facilitating to try to lower his TOs?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Conroy View Post
    Sports Guy Bill Simmons here, plan on talking any strategy. You have a couple of scoring champions there, who's gonna be the #1? Will Kidd be an option or are you going to try to let him focus on facilitating to try to lower his TOs?
    Mitch Kupcheck: Great question Bill. Obviously all of this is fluid, but we're going to go into the season with asking Kidd to just be a distrubtor. Kidd's 34 years old right now and is still playing at a very high level, but we want to put him in a position to be sucessful. As players get older their ability to sustain constant energy on both sides of the court kind of slows down a bit. We're not as concerned about his turnovers as the rest of the league seems to be. There's not a lot of playmakers in the league that don't turn it over, but we do look to mitigate some of them. The biggest thing we've let Jason know is he doesn't need to make every play on this team. Guys like Duncan Kobe, and Childress can find the open man. we want all of our guys to make the 'right' pass, not the riskiest pass. And it starts with our floor general.

    Mitch Kupcheck:In terms of top scoring options i think we're going to give the mantle to Kobe as the #1 if we have to name it, and Duncan a 1A. We want them getting somewhere around the same touches per game. We think getting them the ball a lot and slowing the pace way down to go through our set defense will make teams very inefficent and not give them many opportunites to score the basketball. Then with guys like Kobe and Duncan, we know we can get key scores on important possessions. The beauty that we can see possibly happening, is that there is no weak point in our defense, it's either strong, or stronger.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post

    Mitch Kupcheck:In terms of top scoring options i think we're going to give the mantle to Kobe as the #1 if we have to name it, and Duncan a 1A. We want them getting somewhere around the same touches per game. We think getting them the ball a lot and slowing the pace way down to go through our set defense will make teams very inefficent and not give them many opportunites to score the basketball. Then with guys like Kobe and Duncan, we know we can get key scores on important possessions. The beauty that we can see possibly happening, is that there is no weak point in our defense, it's either strong, or stronger.
    Bill Simmons: This may be coming from the bitter fan in me Mitch, but Childress would fall into the weak or weaker category as far as defense goes. He's worried about two things, his afro and making sure that funky release of his gets seen early and often on game night.

  21. #21
    Jack Markson here from The Golden Take, with the amount of talent you've been able to amass, it almost seems as if its championship or bust for this team. Are you at all worried about your team possibly coasting through the regular season or even an early playoff series?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Conroy View Post
    Bill Simmons: This may be coming from the bitter fan in me Mitch, but Childress would fall into the weak or weaker category as far as defense goes. He's worried about two things, his afro and making sure that funky release of his gets seen early and often on game night.



    Mitch Kupcheck: We plan on using Josh as our super sub. He won't ever be confused with a 1st team all defender, but he will be going up against team's backup players. We have aboslutely no issue with josh putting up a lot of shots off the bench, we actually encourage it. But i'm not sure we share the same views on his shooting, his assist have steadily climbed every season he's been in the league, last year hitting 3.2 per game. To put that in perspective, only Boris Diaw, Lebron James, Grant Hill, Joe Johnson, and Prince finished with a higher average than him in that department.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by BowToTheBill23 View Post
    Jack Markson here from The Golden Take, with the amount of talent you've been able to amass, it almost seems as if its championship or bust for this team. Are you at all worried about your team possibly coasting through the regular season or even an early playoff series?

    Kobe Bryant: That's what i'm here for. That's what TD is here for. That's what J Kidd is here for. We're going to make sure no one loses focus. I'll play bad cop if anyone's effort is lacking, i don't give a ****. I'm going to make sure to bring it every practice, every minute, every game. We've got a very high team IQ and i don't suspect that to be an issue at all. Hell, it's not like this team's won one together; I'm the only one with a ring on the squad and you know i'm always hungry. We want to stifle and embarrass teams from day one till we hold up the trophy. No Mercy is our Motto.

    Tim Duncan: To Build off what Kobe said, i'm hungrier than ever and know no one's going to hand us a championship or even a win. This franchise always has a target on their back. Beating us is a milestone people look to achieve and we plan on being able to accept and own that challenge. I've got MVPs and have been to the Finals, but i don't have that ring. There's nothing more that drives me than to get that ring, and knowing J Kidd so well, i know that's all he cares about. Scoring and Assist totals are all secondary to team success to all of us.

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