Not long after Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers’ new president of basketball operations, rumors began floating about who would replace Mitch Kupchak as the team’s general manager. Agent Rob Pelinka quickly emerged as the favorite to land the position.
On Tuesday the Lakers made it official by naming Pelinka as the team’s new GM. Pelinka expressed his gratitude via Lakers.com:
“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.”
President Jeanie Buss spoke about the trio of Pelinka, Johnson, and head coach Luke Walton leading the franchise back to glory:
“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 Buss. “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.”
When Johnson was hired, he spoke about surrounding himself with the right people, particularly someone who really knows the CBA. As a former agent, most notably to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, Pelinka has excellent knowledge of the CBA and is also a shrewd negotiator which will come in handy during free agency.
Pelinka also has tons of connections and relationships throughout the league. With him officially in the fold, the Lakers now have the group that they believe will turn this franchise around. Time will tell if things will come together the way they, and Lakers fans everywhere, hope it will.