Lakers News: How Coaching Drama Could Impact Rob Pelinka's LA Job Security

Is the team's GM safe?
Dec 9, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka looks on before the in season tournament championship final against the Indiana Pacers at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka looks on before the in season tournament championship final against the Indiana Pacers at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers' failure to lure University of Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley away from the two-time NCAA champions marks the second very public embarrassment for team president Rob Pelinka during a botched head coaching hire attempt. He had also failed to bring in either of his top two choices during the summer of 2019, Tyronn Lue or Monty Williams, after apparent money negotiations stalled out talks. Frank Vogel, the third choice, was brought in and instantly won a title. Of course, Pelinka canned Vogel after three seasons, too, in part because Pelinka needed a sacrificial lamb after he himself made a horrific trade to acquire an aging Russell Westbrook ahead of a doomed 2021-22 season. Phil Jackson couldn't have rescued that team.

So is Rob Pelinka, now overseeing his fourth head coaching hire since 2016, at risk of losing his job?

Per Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, he is indeed quite safe, in part because he did put together that Vogel-coached 2020 title team. Los Angeles is primarily looking to make this major head coaching move, and isn't thinking about Pelinka at this time. Perhaps it's worth at least having a conversation with Pelinka about prioritizing roster construction, and not so much worrying about swapping out head coaches every two-to-three seasons. The Purple and Gold, as currently comprised, just may not be good enough to win, no matter the coach. The team is led by two aging superstars in 39-year-old forward LeBron James (the league's oldest player) and 31-year-old center Anthony Davis, who will earn a combined $94.6 million in 2024-25. That doesn't leave the team with a ton of room to build around them.

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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM

Basketball is Alex's favorite sport, he likes the way they dribble up and down the court.