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Lakers promote general manager Rob Pelinka to VP, agree to contract extension

The Lakers promoted Rob Pelinka and reached a contract extension with the general manager on Friday. (AP/Reed Saxon)

The Los Angeles Lakers are sticking with Rob Pelinka for the foreseeable future.

The team promoted Pelinka to vice president of basketball operations and general manager, adding the VP title to the executive after less than three years with the organization, the Lakers announced on Friday afternoon.

The Lakers also reached a multi-year contract extension with Pelinka, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. The details of that extension to his original five-year deal were not made available.

“I’m extremely pleased with the work Rob has done in order to put this franchise in a position for success,” Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “His strong leadership skills, as well as his commitment to building a winning culture, both on and off the court, have brought us one step closer to being a championship-caliber team and I look forward to our continued work together.”

Pelinka, a former agent, was hired in 2017 to replace Mitch Kupchak and oversaw the acquisitions of both LeBron James and Anthony Davis with former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, who surprisingly stepped down at the end of last season. He also hired coach Frank Vogel this offseason and has helped sign a number of role players to join James and Davis, a move that has helped launch the team to the top of the Western Conference standings.

Former Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who was one of Pelinka’s clients when he was an agent, had nothing but good things to say about him and his progress with the organization this week, too.

“I think people should really sing Rob's praises a lot, because they were killing him,” Bryant said on Showtime's “All The Smoke” podcast this week.

“Rob and I have talked about that stuff. When he and I talk, we don't talk about this move or that move, it's more so him as a friend. It's just saying, ‘Rob, you've been there with me. Now it's just you going through it. You know how we handle it, it's you just stay the course.' All this storm is going on and you just stay here — just do your job, do your job, do your job, do your job.

“But man, I mean what he's done with that team in two years? From the contracts that they once had and were tied up to what they have on this roster now? I mean, they're the biggest team that I've probably ever seen. Their length, speed, old-school big, tough, tough, athleticism. So, they look fantastic.”

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