Rob's Storytelling

Have any more stories for us?

Jim Rome
May 29, 2019 - 9:55 am
Rob Pelinka

USA Today

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Yesterday morning, the Baxter Holmes story on the Lakers came out and most of the attention went to Magic Johnson and the allegations of bullying, intimidation, and incompetence. When it came to the coverage of the story, Magic overshadowed everyone and Rob Pelinka managed to escape without a ton of heat.

But that’s because there’s only so much time you can devote to one trainwreck. And as I mentioned yesterday, one of the things that did come out about Pelinka was that he has a, well…how do I put this? An interesting relationship with the truth. And what I mean by that is, apparently people around him think he lies. A lot. As an example, in the piece, Pelinka is talking with Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who was brought in to address the team as part of the Lakers “Genius Talks” series. And by the way, after reading that piece, how ridiculous does a “Genius Talks” series sound?

Anyway, The Rock and The Pelinka are standing up in front of the team and Rob, who had been Kobe Bryant’s agent, is quoted as telling a story about Kobe and motivation: "There was one time when Kobe, who I worked with for 18 years, was going back to play in Madison Square Garden, and he had just seen 'The Dark Knight.’ Obviously, you guys saw that movie, and he's like, 'Hey, hook me up with dinner with Heath Ledger, because he got so locked into that role. I want to know how he mentally went there.' So, he had dinner with Heath, and he talked about how he locks in for a role. And Kobe used some of that in his game against the Knicks."

Two absolute legends. Two icons when it comes to focus and their craft sitting down for dinner. That must have been like Deniro and Pacino sitting down together in Heat. I mean, damn, how cool it would have been to hear what the Joker and the Mamba were chopping it up about? 

 What an incredible story…

Ehhhhhhhh!! It’s not incredible. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. 

Because Heath Ledger died six months before The Dark Knight was released.

And everyone knows that. In part, Ledger’s death is what made that performance so tragic and so powerful, because everyone watching knew that we would never see a performance like that again.

Except Rob Pelinka, who somehow managed to arrange a dinner between Kobe and a man who died half a year earlier, and then Pelinka claimed that Kobe used that fictional dinner as motivation in his game against the Knicks.

What a weird and bizarre thing to make up. What do you get out of making something like that up? And if you’re lying about something as dumb as that, what else are you lying about? Better yet, what other important things are you lying about. And if you’re willing to just make stuff up like that, at that point, do you even know you’re lying anymore. Lying is never a good idea; but why lie, there? To jack the group up; you already had the Rock do that. No one was looking for you to inspire them, Rob Lowe. 

Kobe broke bread with a dead Heath Ledger. Sure he did. Just like that time that Kobe watched The Crow, starring Brandon Lee, and he was so impressed by the power and darkness that Lee channeled, that pelinka arranged for him to have lunch with Brandon Lee and he used that as motivation for a game against the Jazz.

And speaking of the Jazz, how about that time that Kobe listened to a Miles Davis album and loved how he approached his craft, so Pelinka got Miles and Kobe together and then Kobe dropped 40 on the Celtics.

I mean it is so weird and so strange to tell that story that there’s absolutely no way that really happened right. No way, Pelinka would get up in front of the Laker players and the rock himself and tell a boldfacd lie, right. Wrong. It really did happen. And there’s video.

Reading the quote is one thing. Hearing him say it is even worse. How cringy is that.  Because you know people in that room, the Rock included, are thinking, dude, what the hell are you talking about? The Joker is dead. Maybe you put a little respect on him, and stop lying out your ass.

Have any more stories for us, Rob? Hey, hey, tell me the one about Kobe was so inspired by John Denver’s music that you put he and J.D. together before the Mamba’s last game ever; and the lunch fired him so much that he went off for 60.  …

And you know Kobe has to be thinking, don’t drag me into this. I’ve got nothing to do with this. If you’re gonna lie, lie, just don’t drag me into any of your lies. Even if I am the reason you have that job. 

Look, if you want to give Pelinka the benefit of the doubt, go ahead. I mean, Pelinka isn’t the first guy to tell a tall tale and he won’t be the last. Maybe he just got things confused in his head about arranging a meal between a living basketball player and a dead actor. It happens, it happens to us all.

But when the rap on him is that he’s not exactly honest, when there’s the story about him allegedly drafting a prospect because of a conversation he had with a player, while not involving the other staff members, or when one coaching staff member is quoted as saying: "We think, more often than not, he's not being truthful” having that video come out is bad. Really, really bad.

But I’m sure there’s a way out of it. A logical explanation. Maybe he could dig up Dr. James Naismith and Ronald Reagan for a sit-down with Kobe to explain the whole thing. 

Meanwhile, Laker Kyle Kuzma does not like what he’s seeing and hearing and wants to pull every off his team: he tweeted, “media making the league look like Jerry Springer.  Y’all gotta chill.”

Dude, not sure if you’re talking about the league or your team, but right now the Lakers ARE Jerry Springer. Only better. And it’s the media, it’s the dopes calling the shots and running the show that have run your once proud franchise into the ground. 

Woj, Ben Golliver, Howard Beck and Tom Haberstroh didn’t do this. Jeannie Buss, her shadow owner Linda Rambis, Trag and Pelinka did. All the media has done is dig a little and shown a light on just how jacked up your team and organization are, Kyle. Don’t shoot the messenger, bro. And if every laughing at the Lakers is inevitable, and it is now, since Buss isn’t looking to change anything, you may as well just sit back and enjoy it like the rest of us. You’re missing a good show, bruh.