Kobe Bryant and the Lakers' new GM have a fascinating history

The Los Angeles Lakers’ front office is making sweeping changes following the stunning firing of Jim Buss and longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak. 

Magic Johnson, who was initially brought in as a special advisor to Jeanie Buss, has now taken over as President of Basketball Operations. 

He won’t be trying to maneuver running the show behind the scenes alone, though. The man pegged to become the next general manager of the Lakers has a very interesting history with the franchise, and it goes back to one man: Kobe Bryant. 

Rob Pelinka has agreed to a multi-year deal to become the new general manager of the Lakers, according Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The Lakers moved on finalizing the deal within hours of Kupchak’s departure. 

Pelinka’s biggest tie to the Lakers? He was Bryant’s agent through a huge chunk of his career. 

That time together clearly left Kobe impressed, because Bryant was one of the biggest supporters of Pelinka stepping into the role formerly filled by Kupchak, according to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports:

Adding fuel to that fire, a seemingly innocent tweet from Jeanie Buss two weeks ago now may have been one of the first signs change was coming.

Buss spent time meeting with Bryant earlier in February, and if we are to believe the report that he went to bat for his own guy in Pelinka, this may have been the moment Jeanie started to line up the future of the Lakers:

Johnson laid out what he hopes to find in the next Lakers’ general manager during an exclusive interview that aired on Spectrum SportsNet, noting that he wants his front office partner to be sharper than he is.

“[I] just [want him to] have a work ethic like mine, and be super-duper smart because I want him to be smarter than me, and that’s what it’s all about,” Johnson said.

“I’m not going to have every answer.”

The Lakers are going outside of the box, bringing in someone with no NBA front office experience. Agents have successfully made the transition to league jobs in the past — Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers is an example of that —  but it’s a bold change for Los Angeles.

Will it backfire, or was it time to steer the Lakers’ ship in another direction? Let us know in the comments!

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