Exactly two weeks after firing Mitch Kupchak, the Los Angeles Lakers finally made the hiring of Rob Pelinka as the team's new General Manager official.
Considering Pelinka's background as an NBA agent, most famously Kobe Bryant's former agent, the news hardly came as a shock, as the newest member of the Lakers' front office began informing clients of his decision to take the Lakers' gig a fortnight ago.
Divesting from clear conflicts of interest took time, and the team officially announcing the hiring signals that the process has been completed. Pelinka will be introduced to the media with a press conference scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m.
Friday will also likely be the first time Earvin "Magic" Johnson provides the greater LA media an opportunity to question the new head of Lakers' basketball.
In the interviews Johnson has provided to select outlets, the new President of Basketball Operations has repeatedly voiced a desire to bring Bryant back into the Lakers' organization in any capacity the retired star wishes.
With Pelinka representing Bryant in the past, one would be wise to keep a look out for the Lakers' recently retired five-time champion possibly turning up at the team's practice facility on Friday. On Tuesday, Bryant already took to Twitter and voiced his approval of Pelinka's hire.
"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," Pelinka said in a team statement announcing his hire. "Excellence is what the Lakers stands [sic] 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."
Obviously, Pelinka has worked with and against the Lakers in negotiations representing the face of the Lakers' franchise for a couple decades.
"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," Lakers president Jeanie Buss stated. "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."
Hinting at the reasons for picking Pelinka, Johnson added, "Rob's knowledge of the NBA landscape and the CBA, as well as his relationships with GMs around the league, are invaluable."