The Los Angeles Lakers have long appeared to understand how the West is won, and general manager Mitch Kupchak has remained the brains behind that operation ever since the legendary Jerry West left the post over a decade ago.
You can't give Kupchak credit for Kobe Bryant's first three titles, but he deserves much of the appreciation for the two that followed. Without the trade that brought Pau Gasol to Los Angeles, it's hard to imagine this team's recent history being the same.
You can also thank him for this summer.
The acquisition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the same summer has to rank as one of the all-time greatest accomplishments to take place in a single offseason. Landing Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks on the free-agent market while re-signing big man Jordan Hill wasn't so bad either.
Does Kupchak know something the rest of the league's GMs don't?
Or, is it just a lot easier to build a team when that team is the iconic Los Angeles Lakers?
Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between.