As Kupchak explained to us just before the meeting, the GM’s role in the process differs depending on the experience level of the coach.
“If it were a rookie coach, you’d sit down and spend more time, give him some guidance,” he said. “With a very veteran coach, you probably don’t get involved at all. Mike is somewhere in between, so at the end of the day, I’m going to defer to Mike.”
With an open dialogue between himself and Kupchak, Brown’s support staff will be completed sooner than later.
“He’s earned the right to put together his own staff,” Kupchak continued. “I’d like to know what he’s thinking, why he’s thinking that way, look at options and talk to him about it. He’s been around now for quite some time, and had great success as a head coach for five years, so you defer to a coach like that. He knows what he’s doing.”
During Brown’s introductory press conference, he more than once expressed eagerness to work with Kupchak, for whom he said he’s long had a great deal of respect. But Brown’s focus during his interview with Kupchak and ownership was not so much about Mike Brown as it was Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Co.
“He had very well thought out, pretty convincing ideas before he came and met with us about how to use our players and increase their effectiveness,” said Kupchak. “He wasn’t trying to sell us on him, he was trying to sell us on his vision for the team, defensively and offensively, versus trying to just say, ‘Hey, I’m your guy.’ He had strong feelings about how to use our personnel.”
Kupchak believes Brown will take equal care while assembling his assistants … thus the autonomy.