The Los Angeles Lakers front office’s media tour continued Monday afternoon, this time with Rob Pelinka hopping on the Mason And Ireland Show on ESPN. In it, Pelinka answered questions from fans and repeated many of the same soundbites from the exit interviews, but did have some very nice things to say about Ivica Zubac.
When asked about how big man have historically played major roles in the Lakers’ success, Pelinka acknowledged that trend but also spoke about how different big men are in today’s NBA than they’ve been for the majority of NBA history.
He has a point. This isn’t to say Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Shaquille O’Neal wouldn’t have immense success in today’s style of play, only that it might be harder to find a big man that fits the back-to-the-basket, pound-it-inside prototype that usually comes to mind while also being able to keep up with the insane pace utilized nowadays.
Zubac did come up, however, and Pelinka was pretty clear about how he feels about the rookie big man.
This is obviously great to hear for Zubac, who put in the work to go from a perceived project who might play sparingly as the year went along to arguably the team’s best center over the second half of the year.
That said, hearing that a player is considered a pillar of the future while also taking into account the fact that the Lakers don’t see any of the kids as untouchable, we simply don’t know what Pelinka might actually mean in the above statement.
Until we get more clarity on the conflicting sentiments, it’s worth pointing out how much more available this front office is than the other. Over the last week, we’ve had multiple Magic Johnson interviews, a Jeanie Buss podcast and now this appearance from Pelinka in which he answered questions directly from fans.
While it can be frustrating that they are so often speaking publicly without really being able to say anything, we can also appreciate the attempt to distance themselves from the reputation Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak more than earned.