Lakers News: Jeanie Buss 'Very Happy' with GM Rob Pelinka Amid Rumors

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2019

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 owner Jeanie Buss reiterated her faith in general manager Rob Pelinka as the franchise turns its focus toward free agency this summer. 

Buss told the Los Angeles Times' Arash Markazi she has "100 percent confidence in Rob Pelinka running our basketball operations."

She continued

"There will be a lot of changes. Lakers fans, be patient. We're going to get there. We're not going to stop until we're all proud. I've always had confidence in Rob. Whatever the speculation is out there, we don't need the outside media to validate what we do. I'm very happy. I think we're on the right path, but there's still more work to do."

The Lakers have already faced their fair share of drama with the conclusion of the 2018-19 regular season.

Magic Johnson abruptly resigned as president of basketball operations April 10, telling reporters before he informed Buss of his decision.

Johnson shed some light on his decision during the May 20 edition of First Take, throwing Pelinka under the bus in the process. He said Pelinka was talking negatively about him behind the scenes, both with Lakers employees and Johnson's friends. He also elaborated on how Buss' propensity for soliciting multiple opinions was causing a level of paralysis for any important personnel moves.

Then came an exhaustive report from ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes that painted Johnson as a difficult boss and Pelinka as out of his depth in such a prominent front-office role. One former Lakers player told Holmes, "It's f--king crazy over there."

The franchise finally got some good news when Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Pelinka swung a deal for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

The hard part now comes with filling out the rest of the roster, especially since the timing of the Davis trade means L.A. won't have enough money to offer a max contract to a free agent without shedding more salary.

By finally landing Davis, Pelinka took some of the pressure off himself. Should the Lakers fail to land another star or fall short of expectations in 2019-20, however, Buss may once again face questions about his long-term future with the team.