The Lakers’ hiring of Rob Pelinka to be the next general manager of the franchise was made notable by his former career. A famous player agent, Pelinka has connections across the league and his reputation and experience were major selling points for his new role, perhaps in bringing the Lakers more luck in free agency.
As it turns out, some agents around the league believe the same. In a feature written by Alex Kennedy of Hoopshype, five anonymous agents were asked about their predictions for Pelinka’s GM career. While they all agreed that it may be bumpy to start (mainly due to competitive relationships between agents), they also seemed to point out that Pelinka could have a legitimate advantage due to his former career.
Here’s what one agent said:
“Initially, I thought it was going to be awkward. When they announced that Rob was getting the Lakers’ job, I didn’t know what to think. I had never talked to him – not because there was any bad blood between us, but just because we never had a reason to connect. But ever since the first time that we talked since he took the job, I could not be more of a fan of ‘GM Rob Pelinka.’ He’s amazing. And he’s so considerate because he kind of understands where we’re coming from as agents. He knows our side of the business, and I think actually gives him a leg up in terms of dealing with all of us. He’s been nothing but professional and has done an excellent job with the transition into his new role. With Bob Myers and Justin Zanik, it was the same way. I’ve talked to them a few times since they made the transition from agent to executive. All of those guys are just extremely understanding and more attuned to what we’re dealing with. They also know the language we use, how we operate and how we think. To be honest, I think it actually helps in certain situations. I’m obviously not saying that you need to have agent experience to be an excellent executive, but I don’t think it’s a hindrance in any way.”
Obviously, that’s just one sentiment and while the other interviewed agents had similar thoughts, they were not as enthusiastic about Pelinka’s prospects.
Nevertheless, it’s a promising sign for the team. Pelinka is now the third agent recently promoted to a prominent front-office position, joining Bucks Assistant GM Justin Zanik and Warriors GM Bob Myers. Both of the precedents have had high success thus far, bringing even more optimism that Pelinka can hit the ground running in his first offseason in charge.
The summer should be interesting, to say the least.