On Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss shook up their front office by firing General Manager Mitch Kupchak and reducing Jim Buss from Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations to simply an owner. Earvin "Magic" Johnson took on the new title of President of Basketball Operations, which meant he had effectiely assumed Jim Buss' job.
Now, Rob Pelinka will reportedly be named General Manager and will replace Kupchak to complete the Lakers' front office movement.
Pelinka is most famous for representing Kobe Bryant as an agent, though the 47-year-old still represented top NBA talents like James Harden, Dante Exum and others after Bryant retired.
In taking the position with the Lakers, Pelinka reportedly went through the process of divesting his interests in Landmark Sports agency, which meant the sports agent spent time calling up his various clients around the NBA on Tuesday afternoon. As such, Pelinka's move into the Lakers' front office wasn't a closely guarded secret by Tuesday night.
Rockets guard Eric Gordon spoke of his agent, Rob Pelinka, becoming Lakers GM as a done deal. "It happened fast." — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) February 21, 2017
Earlier in the day, the Lakers had been linked with Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers, though that would have been a tough capture to pull off for various reasons. Pelinka follows a similar path as Myers, though, in terms of being an agent that appears to be set to become an NBA General Manager.
A giant bonus to Myers and Pelinka's path to NBA front offices is that their work as agents has already build relationships inside NBA front offices and with players and coaches. Also, agents have to maintain an understanding of the NBA salary cap and the changing financial landscape of the NBA.
Pelinka will not walk into the Lakers' job blind and start from scratch. On the contrary, he likely had a better understanding of potential deals bubbling across the Association.
Beyond his time as an agent, Pelinka played basketball as a backup point guard at the University of Michigan during the famed "Fab 5" era. Also, Pelinka bears an uncanny resemblance to Rob Lowe.
I've talked to many basketball sources about Rob Pelinka, and all share the same opinion: He looks EXACTLY like Rob Lowe — Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) February 21, 2017