Tomorrow’s story tonight …
The Portland Trail Blazers have not asked for permission to speak to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak about their opening for the same position, team spokesman John Black said before Game 4 on Saturday night.
An Internet report last month suggested the Trail Blazers had a strong interest in speaking to Kupchak about their GM vacancy. They have not asked the Lakers to speak to him as of Saturday evening, however.
Kupchak has a multi-season contract with the Lakers and publicly, at least, has not expressed any interest in leaving for another job despite persistent rumors that he was unhappy with team executive Jim Buss over offseason cost-cutting moves.
The Lakers did not renew the contract of Ronnie Lester, Kupchak’s longtime assistant, last summer and trimmed the scouting staff. The trade of Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a draft pick also was viewed as a money-saving measure.
Dallas sent the Lakers a first-round draft pick and an $8.9-million trade exception.
Kupchak, a former Lakers player, has served as a team executive for 25 years, including 12 as general manager. He took over for Jerry West for the 2000-01 season, and guided the Lakers to championships in ’01, ’02, ’09 and ’10.