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Every report about the Lakers’ thinking this season has painted the picture that Rob Pelinka’s job is not in any serious jeopardy, even as the team he built is set to miss not just the playoffs, but the play-in tournament entirely.
In that way, the latest scoop from Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report was no exception, as this brain trust appears set to laugh off all accountability for this season and just blame LeBron James entirely for the Russell Westbrook trade that sunk the team’s depth. Still, it sounds like Pelinka doesn’t necessarily have a ton of time beyond this summer to figure things out:
Buss relies heavily on the council of Linda and Kurt Rambis—professional and personal relationships that go back several decades. That, too, isn’t likely to change.
The buzz around the league suggests general manager Rob Pelinka has another year to get the Lakers back on track. The blame internally appears to be focused on injuries, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James for pressuring the team to trade for Westbrook.
The question, then, after seeing how this “lame duck” year played out for Frank Vogel after the organization made it clear from the preseason that they weren’t fully committed to him, is this: If someone is really operating on a one-year timetable with a chance to turn things around, is it not just better to let them go and hire someone you actually, fully trust?
Now, the above report was sourced to “buzz around the league,” so maybe Pelinka is fully safe, and that specific aspect of how this could go wrong is a moot concern. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth wondering if Pelinka is really the man to lead the Lakers back to title contention. It has to be mentioned that he won a title less than two years ago, but given how quickly he led the organization in a full-scale sprint in the other direction and apparently fundamentally misunderstood both...
- what made that championship team great and
- how to make this current core successful after the Westbrook trade
...it’s fair to consider the possibility that said result was more just a factor of lucking into great role players by virtue of Klutch Sports and the team’s scouting department — plus the dual greatness of LeBron James and Anthony Davis — than it was anything Pelinka really did.
So I pose this question to you, the Lakers fans of this niche blog, because I’m curious for your thoughts: Should the Lakers really keep Pelinka around? We discussed this (and the entire Pelinka era) on the podcast last week, but let us know your thoughts in the poll below, and why you think what you think in the comments.
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