After giving up a stockpile of assets for Anthony Davis earlier this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping the All-Star forward will re-sign on a long-term contract when he hits unrestricted free agency next summer. Part of the pitch to keep Davis around is to make him feel like’s part of the team’s decision-making process, and Rob Pelinka made sure they got off on the right — albeit strong — foot in that regard.
In a recent interview, Davis confirmed to Dave McMenamin of ESPN that Pelinka made sure to check in with Davis and LeBron James before making any decision for the Lakers, and the word “any” isn’t hyperbole in this instance:
“We were doing constant calls about, ‘What do you think of this or this player?’” he says. “Rob was almost like a stalking girlfriend. He was an agent, so he’s played both sides. He knows that in order for stuff to work, the players have to be involved. And he tried to make sure that LeBron and I were involved as much as possible. During free agency, every decision I got a text or a call, even just two minutes, ‘Look, this is going on. ... How do you feel? OK, cool.’
”Every single decision. I [have] never been involved so much. No matter who the player was, he wanted to make sure. It was on everything. And it was like, ‘Wow.’ To the point where I was like, ‘All right, Rob, stop calling me.’”
Pelinka did the same thing with James last season, but — generally speaking — had less success (see: MUD).
It remains to be seen if Davis’ input will lead to a more successful season for the Lakers, but the signings the team made in free agency, like Danny Green and Quinn Cook, suggest that they will. And even if Davis’ choices don’t pan out, at least Davis won’t be able to turn around and blame Pelinka.
It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved, and one that hopefully leads to more wins.