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Covering LA Sports' Big Three: Lakers, Dodgers and Kings

Lakers General Manager Kupchak Talks Howard Trade and the Late Dr. Buss

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak offered some insights into the state of the Lakers following the death of long-time owner, Dr. Jerry Buss.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Dwight Howard, left, walks with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. Kupchak reiterated that the Lakers were not looking to trade Howard before Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

    In honor of Lakers owner the late Dr. Jerry Buss, the team will wear a patch on the front of their jerseys for the remainder of the season (photo). The initials "JB" will be emblazoned on the front right side of the jersey, above the Lakers logo.

    Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, coach Mike D’Antoni, Kobe Bryant and general manager Mitch Kupchak addressed the media on Tuesday. Of the five Lakers, Kupchak spent the most time with the media and did not dodge any questions.

    Lakers Kobe Bryant & Shaq Friends

    [LA] Kobe Bryant, Shaq's Sidekick
    This Lakers video was shot at Staples Center at the locker of Kobe Bryant on Feb. 12, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013)

    Dr. Buss "brought me here in 1981 as a player," Kupchak said. "Here it is, 32 years later. It’s a weird feeling."

    He also shared his thoughts on the future of the Lakers franchise:

    Lakers' Kobe Bryant Not Concerned

    [LA] Lakers' Kobe Bryant Not Concerned
    Kobe Bryant says he is not worried about recent shooting and lackluster play in this video shot on Feb. 12, 2013 inside the Lakers' locker room. (Published Thursday, Feb 14, 2013)

    "Nobody understands what this franchise means to Los Angeles more than Jeanie and Jimmy and the [Buss] family. Nobody does."

    What does Kupchak particularly remember about Dr. Buss?

    Dwight Howard Lakers Practice - Feb. 11. 2013

    [LA] Dwight Howard at Lakers Practice
    This video was shot in El Segundo, Ca at the Los Angeles Lakers' practice facility on Feb. 11, 2013. (Published Monday, Feb 11, 2013)

    "He was a loyal man," the General Manager staed. "He always came at a problem from a different angle—a very unique angle."

    On whether the Lakers will be making any big trades before Thursday’s trade deadline, Kupchak said that's "unlikely."

    Kobe Bryant Talks About Win Against Phoenix Suns

    [LA] Kobe Bryant Post-Game: Lakers vs Suns
    This video was shot at Kobe Bryant's locker following the Lakers' 91-85 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 12, 2013. (Published Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013)

    "I just don’t see how that’s realistic," he said.

    "There’s not a way to upgrade the talent on this team, so I don’t think that’s realistic. We’ll continue to be on the phones and make calls, take calls and listen. But I don’t anticipate anything dramatic taking place in the next two days."

    And now with Dr. Buss gone, who is the boss? 

    "I report to Jimmy Buss," Kupchak said without hesitation.

    Kupchak was reflective throughout his time with the media, and he even brought the media to laughter on a few occasions when discussing Jim Buss' wardrobe and hinting that he had some funny stories that would not be appropriate to share.

    Ultimately, Kupchak reiterated that Howard was not on the trading block, and he provided some insight into the future of the Lakers. He did not look worried, but he did acknowledge there would be an adjustment period.

    "Just knowing that [Dr. Buss] was there was a good feeling to me," Kupchak said. "And he’s gone now. So, there will be some changes and there will be an adjustment period, but I don’t anticipate a problem."

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