When the Los Angeles Lakers hired Rob Pelinka — the former agent for Kobe Bryant — to help run the franchise as general manager, there was speculation such a move might signal that the team was back under Bryant’s influence on some level, even in the midst of his retirement.
So far that hasn’t been the case, with Bryant opting mostly to focus on his other businesses and storytelling projects. During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” he explained why:
Kimmel: Do you take any role in encouraging guys like LeBron, Lakers free agents, to come to Los Angeles, other than maybe a tweet or something like that?
Bryant: “No, I stay away from it. I’m real close with Rob obviously, and we’ll talk often, just as a sounding board for him.”
Would you be allowed to do that? Or would Rob get fined if you were to do something like that?
“No, I could do that.”
So you could be his surrogate and reach out to (players)?
“I could, but I won’t.”
Why won’t you?
“I stay away from that stuff. And Rob is more than capable of handling the job and all the pressure that comes along with that.”