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#pounditMonday, March 4, 2024

Legendary NBA executive Mitch Kupchak makes major decision

Mitch Kupchak at a press conference

Jun 28, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak answers media questions after announcing that Steve Clifford would return to coach the team at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

At almost 70 years old, Mitch Kupchak is ready to take a step back.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Monday that Kupchak, the president of basketball operations for the Charlotte Hornets, is stepping down from his position. Kupchak will be moving into a role as an organizational advisor, and the Hornets will begin an immediate search for a new president.

Kupchak is one of the most decorated figures in NBA history. He won three championships as a player and another seven as an executive. But all of that front office success came during Kupchak’s time in charge of the L.A. Lakers (as their assistant GM from 1986-2000 and as their GM from 2000-17).

Kupchak joined the Hornets in 2018 and failed to lead the team to a single playoff appearance as their president (with a dismal 11-41 record so far this season). Though Kupchak was responsible for drafting building blocks like LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, and Mark Williams, he did also have some big misses (such as trading away the rights to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for Miles Bridges and trading the rights to Jalen Duren for future draft capital).

We had heard for several months now that some major changes might be coming to Charlotte, especially after Michael Jordan sold the team to new owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin. Kupchak, who had become a bit of a meme in recent years, now becomes the first such domino to fall.

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