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“In Today’s Darkness, You Need Kobe Bryant as a Friend”: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka

Published 04/10/2020, 3:48 AM EDT

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The world still can’t get over the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. On January 26, the 41-year-old was traveling in a helicopter along with his daughter Gianna and seven others when the copter crashed, killing everyone on board. 

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The news sent shockwaves throughout the world and devastated close friends and family of the legend.

Rob Pelinka was one such dear friend of Bryant. He is currently the Vice President of Basketball Operations and the GM of the Lakers. But Bryant and Pelinka go back a long way. Before joining the Lakers, Pelinka was Kobe Bryant‘s agent. 


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He was close to Bryant and knew a lot about his life both on and off the court. Pelinka was also the godfather of Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s 13-year-old who lost her life in the crash.

The GM of the Los Angeles Lakers recently appeared on a radio show hosted by ESPN.

Pelinka Talks About the Mentality of Kobe Bryant

Joining the 710 AM ESPN show, Pelinka was asked about Bryant, if he thinks about him every day. It is evident that he will not get Kobe and Gianna out of his mind anytime soon. He was also asked about the most prominent thing that pops up in his mind when he thinks about Bryant.


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“The friendship,” answered Pelinka in a faint voice. He stated that anybody who has encountered Kobe and Gianna personally or in a basketball game would definitely have their flame still burning inside them.


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“I think in a time like this, where there is a lot of darkness in the world, he is the strongest of friends you can have,” he mentioned. If there was any obstacle coming in the way of himself or his friends, Bryant would always come up with a way to solve it.

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“Even in these times, he continues to inspire ways around the current obstacle because so many of the messages and so many things he had to say are still imprinted in you and in your mind,” shared Pelinka.

He remembers how amazing he was as a friend and how he helped them deal with hard times. Rest in Peace, legend.



Arjun Athreya

2181 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.