Earlier today the Los Angeles Lakers burnt their front office down, firing GM Mitch Kupchak and swapping out former president of basketball operations Jim Buss for Twitter user Magic Johnson. Owner Jeannie Buss said that the team wanted to fill their GM job “in short order” and it seems that the search is already over.
Per a report from The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the new man in charge will be Rob Pelinka, an agent with Landmark Sports Agency. Pelinka’s group currently represents James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Andre Iguodala, although he will have to divest himself to take the Lakers job. Gordon more or less confirmed the news to the Houston Chronicle, registering his surprise that Pelinka would suddenly no longer representing him.
Pelinka has never held a front office position before, but he is most famous for representing Kobe Bryant for more than a decade. The Lakers are notoriously insular, and Pelinka’s longstanding relationship with the team made him an obvious candidate for the job, even if he’s inexperienced. Magic Johnson also wants Kobe to get involved with the team, and hiring his friend and agent is a good start. Kobe apparently pushed for Pelinka to get the job.
It’s not hard to see where the dominos are falling here, but I’ll spell it out for you anyway: player-coach Kobe Bryant.