The Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday afternoon officially announced the hiring of former agent Rob Pelinka as the next general manager.
“We have worked closely with Rob for many years and have first-hand experience with his knowledge of the league and the business of basketball,” said team president Jeanie Buss stated in a press release. “In our recent discussions, it was clear that he also shares our goal of returning the Lakers to being an elite NBA franchise. Together with Earvin and Coach Walton, I believe we are in a great position to bring winning basketball back to the Lakers.”
Pelinka has more than two decades worth of experience as a sports agents that includes a high-profile clientele that includes representing the likes of Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Avery Bradley.
“I am beyond grateful to join the Lakers front office,” said Pelinka. “The Lakers are a gold standard for sports franchises in the world, so we all share a responsibility to pursue excellence in everything we do. Excellence is what the Lakers stands for, what Jeanie Buss and Earvin Johnson embody, and what Coach Walton demands from our players. That obsession for greatness is what will bring Lakers basketball back to a championship level. With Jeanie and Magic guiding the vision, I am thrilled to help architect the future. I am really excited to get to work.”
This came to be an expected move over the last few weeks shortly after Magic Johnson was brought on board as the new president of basketball operations last month as multiple reports suggested that the team had chosen Pelinka for the opening.
The decision to hire an agent to the position isn’t that foreign of an idea in the NBA as the Golden State Warriors brought aboard Bob Myers as their general manager several years ago. Myers has since proven to be a great find for the organization playing a major part in putting together a championship caliber roster.
Los Angeles is hoping that Pelinka’s wealth of experience as a sports agent could lend well to helping him bring back the franchise to relevancy in the league.
“Rob’s knowledge of the NBA landscape and the CBA, as well as his relationships with GMs around the league, are invaluable,” said Johnson. “After running a successful sports agency and as someone who truly understands the inner workings of salary caps and player negotiations, he will bring the additional skills and experience needed in the Lakers executive office. Rob is a winner and the Lakers are fortunate to have him.”
Pelinka is expected to be formally introduced at a press conference on Friday at 1 p.m. at the team’s practice facility located in El Segundo.