There’s a lot to digest in ESPN’s bombshell feature on the Los Angeles Lakers dysfunction that dropped Tuesday morning. Multiple members of the Lakers coaching staff in disbelief over the “basket case” free agents the team signed in the offseason. LeBron James’ agent going directly to Adam Silver to voice his complaints about Luke Walton. Magic Johnson reportedly giving multiple employees panic attacks. It’s just a lot.
There’s also an entire section devoted to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and why many in the organization don’t trust what he says. The chief example isn’t a new one, but it’s still good to refresh everyone’s memory of the time Pelinka fabricated an insane story involving Kobe Bryant and used it to try and motivate his team.
In March of 2018, Pelinka hosted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as part of the Lakers “Genius Talks” series, an effort by the franchise to bring in celebrities with inspiring stories to help motivate the team. In the middle of the session, Pelinka jumped in to relay a story about Bryant, who he represented as an agent for 18 years, requesting a dinner with Heath Ledger after seeing The Dark Knight. It’s a fun story the involves Bryant wanting to pick Ledger’s brain on how he went full method actor to get into the role of The Joker, one of the most iconic performances in movie history. The only problem? The Dark Knight came out six months after Ledger died.