Today Rob Pelinka is an American basketball executive, lawyer, and sports agent but before that he was a point guard in his days as a collegiate basketball player for the Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball team. Currently, many know him as the man at the helm for the Los Angeles Lakers, working as the organization’s Vice President of Basketball Operations and general manager. With such a prestigious job as an agent comes the natural representation of many renowned basketball players such as Kobe Bryant, Derrick Williams, Dion Waiters, and Kevin Durant.
Rob Pelinka’s Career, Early Life and Marriage
Full Name: Robert Todd Pelinka, Jr.
Born: December 23, 1969, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Listed height: 6 ft 6 in
Listed weight: 200 lb
College: Michigan (1989-1993)
Position: Vice President of Basketball Operations General Manager
NBA draft: Round / Pick
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Rob Todd Pelinka was a college basketball player during his time with the Wolverines. In playing four seasons, he averaged just 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per contest. Before his college days, he went to Lake Forrest High School in Illinois, and this was where his basketball career started. His high school was promising, where he earned the All-American honors as a teenager.
He didn’t get into the NBA as a player:
Rob Pelinka’s playing career pretty much ended when he graduated from college. He took up Business Administration and managed to accumulate a very impressive 3.9 GPA. So he went from shooting balls to Michigan Law School, where he eventually earned his Juris Doctor cum laude in 1994.
Becoming a sports manager:
Understanding that he shone outside the court as early as his college days, he already realized that his calling was in sports management.
In 1998, Pelinka entered the SFX Management as a legal counsel.
After two years, he became a sports agent and even started a professional and personal relationship with Kobe Bryant as the firm represented Kobe from early on in his career.
Developing his own sports agency:
Pelinka created The Landmark Sports Agency in Los Angeles and was good enough to take his number one client with him, and with Bryant at the top of his clientele list, he was able to sign on a number of prominent NBA stars through the years! This clientele included big names like James Harden, Andre Iguodala, Buddy Hield, Chris Bosh, and Eric Gordon, to name a few.
Pelinka and his agency also once represented Kevin Durant before his shift to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports. In 2018, Forbes listed Pelinka’s agency to be worth $13.8 million, with $216 million worth of contract values who they manage.
He represented Kobe during his sex scandal:
There’s no denying that Rob Pelinka and Kobe were almost like brothers. Pelinka literally stood by the side of Bryant during the latter’s infamous sexual assault case in 2003 and this was perhaps when their unbreakable bond was secured for life.
Godfather to Kobe’s child:
Close friend Kobe Bryant asked Pelinka to be the godfather of his second daughter, Gianna, who sadly, also passed during the helicopter crash in January 2020.
He was a star basketball player Lake Forest High School in Illinois before attending the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the famous “Fav Five” teams.
In 1993, he received the Walter Byers Scholarship, the NCAA’s most prestigious academic award.
He married a woman named Kristin who is a pediatrician who earned her MD from UCLA in 2003. The couple have two children — a son named Durham, and a daughter named Emery. The family is a member of a Christian group
Shifting to a league executive:
Rob Pelinka was part and parcel of Lakers team owner Jeanie Buss’ overhaul of the team’s front office in 2017, which included the dismissal of Mitch Kupchak as the team’sGM as well as Jeanie’s own brother, Jim Buss, as the Vice President of Basketball Operations.
Along with Magic Johnson, who was working as the replacement of Jim Buss, Jeanie onboarded Pelinka as Kupchak’s successor as the team’s new General Manager. The Johnson-Pelinka partnership in LA ended with Magic deciding to step down after just two rather unsuccessful years at the helm. However, no one could deny that Johnson played a pivotal role in the signing of LeBron James in 2018.In the aftermath of Johnson’s resignation, though, he attacked Pelinka, stating that Pelinka “backstabbed” him and had an incessant desire to take over his position.
Rob Pelinka is estimated to have a net worth of $25 million.
He achieved this by working as a representative for many top players in the NBA. Generally, agents earn 4% to 5% of the salary and deal money of the players they arrange.