Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has no regrets about acquiring Steve Nash, who has appeared in just 60 of the Lakers’ 135 games since his sign-and-trade deal from the Phoenix Suns.
“Absolutely. No regrets,” Kupchak said prior to Thursday’s game against Oklahoma City. “You had a chance. You have to recognize where you’re at as a franchise and we felt we had a two-year window, maybe three, to go for a championship and that’s what we did. Looking back on it, which nobody can do, that’s a different story. But at the time, we knew exactly what we were doing.”
Nash missed Thursday’s game because of nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings stemming from a collision with Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich over the weekend.
“I feel terrible for him,” Kupchak said. “I really do. Nobody expected him to break his leg in the second game of the season (last year), and it’s one thing after another since then.
“Some players would sulk and kind of get depressed and say: ‘Well, I’m 38 years old – or whatever it is – and maybe it wasn’t meant to be’ but this guy has worked harder than anybody to get back.”
The Lakers are 18-35 this season, and have lost a record-setting seven straight at home following Thursday night’s 107-103 loss to the Thunder.
Kupchak was asked how hard this season has been on him personally.
“I think it’s been a lot harder on our fans than it’s been on me,” Kupchak said. “I take every loss personal, but certain things are out of your control. I don’t know what our record would be if everybody was healthy. I just don’t know, but I know it would be a lot better than it is today, and we’ll never know what the season could have been.”
Kupchak added: “We really thought when we were a game over .500 and Kobe [Bryant] was coming back and Steve Nash was coming back, we had a chance to put something together. We were optimistic going into the second month of the season.”