Fired Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak issues statement on his time with the team

Despite his unceremonious firing as general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Mitch Kupchak still has faith in his former team.

The former Lakers executive, who joined the team as a player nearly 36 years ago, issued a statement Wednesday thanking the Buss family and wishing the franchise luck moving forward.

“I would like to thank the Buss family for 36 incredible years. In particular I would like to acknowledge Dr. Buss who brought me here as a player in 1981. I also want to thank every Laker player, coach and staff member with whom I have worked and who supported me through the good times and the very few not so good times. I am most disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to continue to work with Luke and watch this young and talented team grow and eventually win in the Laker tradition.

“Finally, my best wishes to Earvin Johnson and the Laker organization going forward.”

Along with Kupchak, the Lakers also fired longtime PR guru John Black and relieved co-owner Jim Buss of his duties as executive vice-president of basketball operations, elevating Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to the position of president of basketball operations.

Just hours after the move was announced, Magic and the Lakers traded guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round pick.