Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak spoke to reporters about the team's decision to fire coach Mike Brown today, saying the team didn't want to wait for the team to break out of its funk only to find out that it wasn't going to happen. He shared lots more insight, as Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld transcribes. We'll round up the highlights here.
On the timing of the decision:
“It wasn’t made out of panic. We were aware of this team’s progress through training camp and the beginning of the season. Only yesterday did we come to the decision to make a change. Obviously, everyone in this room knows we went 0-8 in the preseason, which doesn’t mean a whole lot, but we are 1-4 now. It didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s something that’s out there that we talked about internally, continuing to support Mike. But after our loss to Utah we came to the decision this morning to make a change.”
On why the move wasn't made after last season:
“I would say it was an incomplete evaluation. What he went through last season wasn’t really fair. Making a trade that fell apart, one of the players has moved on – Lamar Odom – and the other player was scarred for a complete season. Then we made another trade as we approached the trade deadline to get a younger ball-handling point guard. And we did no worse than we did the year before. It’s tough to grade him, plus on top of that it was a (lockout)-shortened season. So on top of that it’s tough to give a coach a grade. Maybe you call it a free pass for a year and let’s see how we do this year.”
On whether Dwight Howard's free agency next summer had to do with the firing:
"(It was) not something that was discussed between the three decision makers. Obviously we know he’s a free agent this summer and you want to make the experience for him as good as possible, but we have a lot of other people we’re trying to please as well, we have a lot of fans and players, it’s not just about one person.”
On selecting a replacement:
"The sooner the better. We don’t have a timetable. ... The reality is you can’t call around and gauge coaches' interest in this job; in the fraternity that exists, a coach wouldn’t say he was interested as long as someone has the job so we haven’t even begun the search, but we do have a list that we’ve put together and we will go through that list in an orderly fashion."