LOS ANGELES – In his 30-plus years with the Lakers organization, Mitch Kupchak worked with some of the greatest talents in NBA history — both on the court and in the front office.
Now it appears he has the chance to work for perhaps the greatest basketball talent ever. As for the talent on the court, however? That’s exactly why Michael Jordan wants Kupchak.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported Monday morning that the Charlotte Hornets, owned by Jordan, have offered Kupchak their general manager position. Citing league sources, Stein reported that team officials “are confident they can soon seal a deal with the longtime former Lakers executive.”
Kupchak, 63, was a first-round pick by the Washington Bullets in 1976 and was a part of three championship-winning teams in Washington and Los Angeles. But it was his career in the front office where he really earned his reputation.
Starting in 1986, he worked in Lakers management under Hall of Fame player and then-Lakers general manager Jerry West. Kupchak gained the powers of a traditional GM in 2000 upon West’s departure and ultimately oversaw five championship teams.
His most celebrated move as GM was likely the trade which landed the Lakers Pau Gasol to pair with Kobe Bryant and led to two NBA titles and three straight trips to the NBA Finals.
The Lakers fired Kupchak in February 2017 amid a front-office shake-up.