Lakers’ Jeanie Buss Holds High Praise for Executive Rob Pelinka and How He Helped with the Turnaround

Published 03/10/2021, 9:50 PM EST
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 24: Jeanie Buss attends 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)


The Lakers, after coach Phil Jackson’s 11 seasons and five victories, were a changed team. The organization endured its driest ever run in the NBA after Phil left the team in 2011. Moreover, it was heartbreaking to see so many players leaving the team and Kobe Bryant facing a downfall after his persistent injuries.

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However, that stomach-churning era was about to end when Jeanie Buss would take the top position in the team. After the passing of her father, and after some bad times under the leadership of Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, Jeanie brought in some fresh changes. One of those changes was the hiring of executive Rob Pelinka.

Jeanie Buss is consoled before a game with the Celtics at the Staples Center Wednesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Jeanie Buss and her pride in the team coach

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Lakers’ president became the first female team owner to win an NBA Championship in 2020. This was just three seasons after she took over the top role; hence, her achievements were even more phenomenal.

But she does not shy away from sharing the credit with fellow executive Rob Pelinka, who helped bring back the winning culture.

In a recent interview, the 59-YO owner expressed, “He is a thoughtful leader. He’s somebody who knows the game. But he’s also somebody who knows the personalities. Given his background is not only a college basketball championship player, but also his time as an agent and knowing how players think, how to put together personalities so that they all complement each other. He knows how to fill out a roster. He’s a great leader, I enjoy working with him so much. He’s done a great job.”

When the organization named Rob Pelinka as the GM in March 2017, he heaped praise on Jeanie Buss and the then President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson. As a result, he did fit well within the franchise.

Rob Pelinka and his impact on the Lakers

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When Rob joined the ailing team, Kobe Bryant had said how he understands the business of basketball the best. In his portfolio, the celebrated executive already had the successful representation of James Harden, Chris Bosh, Andre Iguodala, and Kobe himself.

So, he was clearly someone who understood the weak nerves of players. He later used all that to give the right players to the Lakers and bring them a title.

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Just as the Lakers franchise credits Magic Johnson for attracting LeBron James to the team, Rob Pelinka takes the credit for bringing in Anthony Davis.

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Today, he, along with Jeanie Buss and coach Frank Vogel, has created a winning culture, and that’s a turnaround they’ve pulled together. Kudos to the trio, and we project more title wins for them in the future.

Read AlsoLakers’ Jeanie Buss Makes a Shocking Revelation on LeBron James’ Retirement Age

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Sourabh Singh

1690 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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