Lakers Rumors: Rob Pelinka, Kurt Rambis Expected to 'Remain in Power' with LA

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka talks about the acquisition of LeBron James and other free agents at a news conference at the NBA basketball team's headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

The Los Angeles Lakers' front-office power structure reportedly isn't expected to change despite L.A. disappointingly missing the playoffs this season.

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, general manager Rob Pelinka and special adviser Kurt Rambis are expected to remain in power.

With both LeBron James and Anthony Davis missing significant time due to injury this season, the Lakers are just 31-49, and they will miss the playoffs for the second time in the past four seasons.

Since winning a championship in 2019-20, which was the Lakers' first season with James and Davis as a combo, the team has largely disappointed.

The Lakers reached the playoffs last season, but needed to go through the postseason play-in tournament to get there and fell to the Phoenix Suns in the first round.

Hopes were high this season after Pelinka and Rambis played a role in adding Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and several other supporting-cast members around James and Davis, but the mix didn't work.

Much of that is undoubtedly because LeBron and AD have missed a combined 64 games, often leaving the Lakers without a go-to player.

It seems likely that the scapegoat for the Lakers' struggles will be head coach Frank Vogel despite the fact that he led them to a championship just two seasons ago.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported this week that the Lakers are expected to part ways with Vogel and are already considering potential candidates to replace him.

Even if they are indeed retained, Pelinka and Rambis could now find themselves on a short leash, especially if the Lakers don't improve significantly next season.

Following a lengthy career as an agent, Pelinka has been the Lakers GM since 2017, playing a role in the signing of James, the acquisition of Davis and the building of a championship roster.

Meanwhile, Rambis has a long history with the Lakers organization as a player, coach and executive.

Rambis played for the Lakers from 1981 to '88 and 1993 to '95, winning four championships. Later, he had three stints as a Lakers assistant coach, winning two more titles, plus three in a front-office role. Rambis was also the head coach of the Lakers for one season in 1998-99.

In 2019, it was reported by ESPN's Amin Elhassan (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports) that Rambis' wife, Linda Rambis, is close to Lakers governor Jeanie Buss and has significant influence within the organization.

The Lakers are in desperate need of a turnaround after one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory, and for now it looks like Pelinka and Rambis will be in charge of leading that turnaround.