Lakers' Jeanie Buss Says She Has 'Complete Confidence' in Rob Pelinka as GM

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 10, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: (L-R) Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss attend Kobe Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony during a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on December 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers team governor Jeanie Buss offered a vote of confidence in general manager Rob Pelinka.

"In terms of basketball decisions, I have complete confidence in our front office," Buss told the Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke. "He is a person that is extremely smart, extremely strategic, everything he does is thoughtful and with purpose. … I have complete confidence that he can put together a roster and find a coach that is going to get us back to where we belong."

There's plenty of blame to go around as the Lakers stare into the abyss that is their short-term future. As the key decision-maker on basketball matters, the external heat on Pelinka is scorching.

Buss' comments, however, further illustrate how there appears to be little appetite internally to shake up the front office.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported in February the GM "has the unwavering support of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and is firmly entrenched as a pillar of the club's four-pronged brain trust alongside Buss and the power couple of Kurt and Linda Rambis."

A month later, The Athletic's Sam Amick and Bill Oram reported nothing had changed, with Pelinka enjoying "full support and trust."

Amick and Oram provided some additional context, explaining how Buss longed to have Kobe Bryant join the front office in a meaningful way at some point. Pelinka had been Bryant's agent, and the report laid out how he "now represents both himself and Bryant in that role" Buss seemingly earmarked for Kobe.

While L.A. hasn't epitomized a functional NBA franchise the past two seasons, it would make little sense to let Pelinka have input on a head coaching search and then dump him after the coach is hired.

For now at least, the Lakers are giving the 52-year-old the opportunity to solve the mess he helped create.