Kupchak: Coaching Change Was Clumsy
The transition from Mike Brown to Mike D’Antoni as coach early last season was an awkward time for the Lakers.
“Clumsy is not a bad characterization,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday to Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio.
The Lakers fired Brown only five games into the season. After an interview with Phil Jackson, the team chose to go with D’Antoni. Kupchak informed Jackson late on Sunday, Nov. 11, by telephone, apparently waking the coach to deliver the news.
“There was really no other way to get around it. In this business you don’t make announcements until you have signed contracts,” Kupchak said. “The last thing we wanted was for Phil Jackson, who we love in the organization, the city loves him, to wake in the morning or to get a phone call from somebody at 4 or 5 in the morning saying, ‘Guess what? Didn’t Mitch tell you?’”
In hindsight, Kupchak still isn’t sure there was a more comfortable way to let Jackson know.
“Really there was no other way to do it, and you could say it was clumsy,” Kupchak said.