“I was lucky to have Mikan, Pollard, Mikkelsen, all the different ball players. Every one of them was a team man,” Kundla said in 2014. “I didn’t have to motivate these players. They wanted to win.”
In 11 seasons as the Lakers coach, Kundla guided the team to the playoffs 10 times with five division titles. The Lakers again reached the NBA Finals in his final season, but lost to Red Auerbach’s Celtics in four games.
Kundla was born in Star Junction, Penn., but grew up in Minneapolis. Prior to coaching the Lakers, he spent one season leading the basketball program for the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
Instead of moving with the Lakers to Los Angeles, Kundla stayed in the Twin Cities and took over the University of Minnesota basketball program in 1959. Kundla was a standout basketball player for the Gophers and coached his alma mater for nine seasons, but had just three winning seasons and failed to make the NCAA Tournament.
Remembered as a humble coach with an attention to detail, Kundla was praised for his ability to adjust to the ebb and flow of a game. He coached through the widening of the court and the implementation of the shot clock.
Both questioned the overall effort and commitment level. Wade gave a few more clues than Butler as to the targets:
Given those statements, let’s try to do some sleuthing as to who’s getting the heat.
If young guys are to blame, then you’d have to eliminate veterans Rajon Rondo (30), Taj Gibson (31) and Robin Lopez (28). That still leaves a lot of suspects, because the rest of the Bulls’ roster is young.