After two full seasons as General Manager, Rob Pelinka has helped
transform the Lakers roster and team DNA.
On July 6, 2019, Pelinka orchestrated one of the biggest trades in
franchise history, acquiring six-time All-Star and three-time First Team All-
NBA selection Anthony Davis. Pelinka made several key additions after the
blockbuster trade, signing Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Troy Daniels,
Jared Dudley, Danny Green and Dwight Howard, while re-signing major
contributors from last season in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso,
JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo.
Pelinka also retooled the coaching staff during the 2019 offseason, hiring
a veteran staff in Head Coach Frank Vogel and assistants Jason Kidd, Lionel
Hollins, Phil Handy, Miles Simon, Mike Penberthy and Quinton Crawford.
Other staff additions were made as well, in the hiring of Dr. Judy Seto as
Director of Sports Performance and Nina Hsieh as Head Athletic Trainer.
Pelinka’s Lakers tenure began in March of 2017, and he got to work
quickly revamping the Lakers roster. The Lakers draft selections of Lonzo
Ball, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma were a success, with Ball and Kuzma
earning all-rookie honors, while Josh Hart was named MVP of the 2018 Las
Vegas Summer League.
The 2018 offseason proved to be a fruitful one for Pelinka and the front
office. On July 9, the team signed four-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA
Champion LeBron James – one of the most significant free agent signings
in Lakers history. Injuries to key pieces kept the team from reaching their
full potential in 2018-19. As the 2019-20 season begins, Pelinka and his staff
continue to work towards their goal of building a championship contender.
Off the court, Pelinka also reignited the Lakers commitment to player
development by launching the Lakers Genius Talks, a series of life-skills
discussions for Lakers players led by luminaries such as Kendrick Lamar,
Denzel Washington, Allyson Felix, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Elon Musk. The
Lakers players and coaches also attended and met the cast of Hamilton
on Broadway, further broadening their passions and interests beyond
6 i Lakers 2019-20 Y earbook
As general manager, Pelinka coordinates all day-to-day functions of the
Basketball Operations Department, helping manage personnel decisions,
contract negotiations, salary cap strategies and scouting. He oversees
and collaborates with his staff on all offseason activities, including the
draft process, summer league, free agency and training camp. In addition
to these tasks, Pelinka also assists with various marketing, media relations
and other management functions.
Pelinka joined the Lakers after spending the greater part of two decades
representing many of the NBA’s top players as an agent. Named by Forbes
as one the Top 10 Sports Agents in the World, Pelinka’s experience gives
him a unique, player-centric perspective of the NBA landscape that will
help shape the decision-making and future strategies for the franchise.
The Lake Forest, Illinois, native earned his business degree from the
Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with high honors in
1993, before receiving his law degree, cum laude, from the University of
Michigan Law School in 1996. While on campus at Michigan, Pelinka was a
member of the 1989 NCAA National Championship basketball team, taking
part in three NCAA Final Fours (1989, 1992, 1993) for the Maize and Blue.
In 1993, Pelinka was named the NCAA Walter Byers male student-athlete
of the year. Upon graduation, Pelinka practiced corporate law in Chicago
and then embarked on a successful career as a sports agent, representing
some of the all-time greats and many future NBA Hall-of-Famers, including
the Lakers own Kobe Bryant.
Pelinka, 49, makes his home in Newport Beach with his wife, Dr. Kristin
Pelinka, his son, Durham Pelinka (11), and his daughter, Emery Pelinka (9).
Pelinka’s off court interests include trail running, reading and spending
as much time with his kids as his work schedule permits. Pelinka and his
family take great joy serving in leadership capacities at The Exceptional
Families Ministry of Mariners Church in Irvine, CA, and at The Painted
Turtle Camp in Lake Hughes, CA.