Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Rob Pelinka tells Lakers story of Kobe Bryant meeting Heath Ledger on date after Ledger died (video)

Earvin "Magic" Johnson & Rob Pelinka Los Angeles Lakers Media Availability

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Rob Pelinka discusses the upcoming Los Angeles Lakers’ season at UCLA Health Training Center on September 20, 2018 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has a poor reputation around the NBA.

Former Lakers president Magic Johnson accused Pelinka of betrayal. Johnson also said numerous agents warned him about Pelinka, himself a former agent. The Pelicans reportedly cut Pelinka from Anthony Davis trade talks. Andrew Bogut accused Pelinka and Johnson of lying to him. (At least former Laker Larry Nance Jr. denied Pelinka lied to him.)

And then there’s the time Pelinka, who represented Kobe Bryant, addressed the Lakers in March 2018:


There was one time when Kobe, who I worked with for 18 years, was going back to play in Madison Square Garden. And he had just seen “The Dark Knight."Obviously, you guys saw that movie. And he’s like, “Hey, hook me up with dinner with Heath Ledger, because he got so locked into that role. I want to know how he mentally went there.” And so he had dinner with Heath, and he talked about how he locks in for a role. And Kobe used some of that in his game against the Knicks in terms of mental preparation.

The problem: “The Dark Knight” was released in July 2008. Ledger, who played The Joker, died in January 2008.

Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

A source with direct knowledge said no such arrangement was made and no dinner ever took place.

Maybe this was an innocent mistake, Pelinka mixing up details. The meeting occurred a decade prior. It could have been a different movie, a different actor.

But this isn’t the only example of Pelinka spreading falsehoods. I recommend reading Holmes’ article for more.

People obviously want to paint Pelinka as a compulsive liar. Maybe fairly, maybe not. Either way, there’s a problem he must address.