LFHS Alum Rob Pelinka Under the Microscope in LA


Michael Vallone

Drama follows the Los Angeles Lakers into the off season after a disappointing year. Trade rumors swarm the team, head coach Luke Walton was fired, Magic Johnson abruptly left on live tv, and now Rob Pelinka, a Lake Forest High School alumnus is under scrutiny.

Pelinka was seen on a video uploaded to YouTube of a team meeting back in March 2018. Pelinka, in hopes to inspire his team, recalled a story of Kobe Bryant. In short terms, the story sees Kobe reaching out to meet Heath Ledger after watching The Dark Knight, hoping to gain some insight into locking into a role. The only hole in the story was the fact that The Dark Knight was released six months after Ledger’s death.

Caught in a lie, Pelinka has been slandered continuously by the media. An ESPN report also shows Pelinka lying to his staff during the 2018 draft when Pelinka decided to take Josh Hart over Omari Spellman, who the entire staff thought was the desired choice. He justified this by saying Josh Hart showed concerns for Spellman. Hart denied his involvement.

While these stories seem of little importance, it shows signs of a crumbling front office and program. Without the Lakers in the playoffs, they have been the center of attention for critics. The offseason chaos effectively diminishes the Lakers’ efforts to bring more free agents in to play. The recent news of lying, betrayal, and overall confusion leave free agents wondering if L.A. is really where they want to be. Petty lies and conflict in the Lakers front office is a bad way to draw in potential free agents.

So the question remains: Do the Lakers fire Rob Pelinka? It would be a fitting end to the chaotic relationship between Pelinka and the Lakers. It would also show more division in the front office. Pelinka has struggled with his new general manager. The Lakers could not make the playoffs even with Lebron James. He has traded away Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russel, both of whom had terrific seasons. Russel was both an All-Star and a candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year. The young core is regularly in and out of the lineup with injuries. There’s no doubt the rebuilding process takes long, but Lakers’ fans are impatient. They want to change now.

With the NBA season officially coming to a close, the upcoming draft, and the beginning of summer league, the Lakers need to turn things around in a dramatic way. It will be tough, but avoiding the bright lights may be the key to a prosperous future, and former Scout Rob Pelinka will be in the middle of all the decisions.