If former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is truly a candidate to become the next Charlotte Hornets general manager, there has been no traction to date, he said Friday.
Kupchak, an All-American at North Carolina in the mid-1970s, was in Charlotte on Friday for the opening-round games of the NCAA tournament at Spectrum Center. He was in the stands for the Tar Heels’ 84-66 victory over Lipscomb.
Asked after the game if he has had any conversations with the Hornets, Kupchak said he had not.
“Nope. Nope,” he told the Observer. “Nothing. Nothing at all.”
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Kupchak, 63, was named as a front-runner for the Hornets’ general manager opening by ESPN, after Rich Cho departed in February. Hornets owner Michael Jordan and team vice chairman Curtis Polk have been interviewing candidates. Polk recently told the Observer he aspires to make a hire next month, with the Hornets’ season ending in mid-April.
Sources indicate the Hornets have received permission from various other NBA teams to interview front-office personnel. Among the possibilities: Philadelphia 76ers vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley and Houston Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas. Eversley was scheduled to interview with the Hornets this week, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Kupchak was fired by the Lakers in February of 2017 after more than 35 years with the organization in various capacities. He and Jordan share deep ties, through North Carolina and former coach, the late Dean Smith.