The Los Angeles Lakers and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson held a press conference Friday afternoon to announce the hiring of their new general manager, Rob Pelinka.
Pelinka, who was a well-known agent of many NBA stars including Laker great Kobe Bryant, was hired because of the relationships he has made within the sport and his knowledge of the new collective bargaining agreement.
He has a difficult task ahead of him as the Lakers are coming off two seasons in which they set the franchise record for losses, and they are not much better this season as their 20-45 record is the second worst in all of basketball.
Pelinka has set high goals for himself and the organization though, as he believes he and his staff can deliver on owner Jeanie Buss’ challenge to return the Lakers to the greatness they have displayed time and time again, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Rob Pelinka: "We are going to deliver on Jeanie's challenge to us all, to make the Lakers the greatest sports franchise in the world."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 10, 2017
Pelinka founded the Landmark Sports Agency where, in addition to representing Bryant, he represented stars like James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Chris Bosh, Andre Iguodala and many more.
Those relationships should help him in free agency negotiations and drawing stars to Los Angeles, which had been a problem for former general manager Mitch Kupchak the last few offseasons.
Johnson and Pelinka have a solid young core to work with in guys like Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. Whether they decide to keep them and build around them or trade some of them for an established star will be up to them, but it is clear that both Johnson and Pelinka are committed to getting the Lakers back to being championship contenders.