Rob Pelinka is a lawyer, basketball executive, and sports agent from the United States. Additionally, he played point guard for the Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball team throughout his time as a college basketball player.
He currently holds the positions of general manager and vice president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.
Additionally, Rob Pelinka has long served as a spokesperson for several well-known basketball players. Notable NBA talents for whom he has acted as an agent include Kobe Bryant, Derrick Williams, Dion Waiters, and Kevin Durant.
Additionally, he was formerly a player himself, giving him extensive knowledge and expertise in the game. Notably, he won the Division I Men’s Basketball Championships of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1989.
Without ever on the court, the 1993 NCAA Male Walter Byers Scholar-Athlete of the Year has made a name for himself in the world of basketball.
Instead, he uses off-the-field maneuvers to bring several promising players to the top division of the sport.
He formerly served as the Landmark Sports Agency, LLC’s CEO. The man can serve as a great source of motivation for anyone who enjoys sports but wants to pursue a profession off the field. To learn more about his success story, continue reading this article.
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Robert Todd Pelinka Jr., now 52 years old, was born in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States on December 23, 1969. He was taught the principles of basketball by his father, former high school basketball coach Robert Todd Pelinka, Sr. Pelinka enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, earning a 3.9/4.0-grade point average. He became close friends with Doug Kahn, a professor of tax law at the University of Michigan, and his wife during his stay there.
Pelinka declared in January 1993 that he had been accepted to the Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Michigan Law School and that after his athletic and academic careers were over, he intended to work as a professional sports agent. Pelinka, one of six contenders for the Walter Byers Scholarship, traveled to St. Louis, Missouri after Michigan won the 1993 NCAA West Regional Final.
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Later the same week, Pelinka was recognized as the best male scholar-athlete in the NCAA by receiving the 1993 Walter Byers Scholar Award. Pelinka received numerous other accolades for being a scholar-athlete.
Pelinka decided to go to Michigan Law School after graduating and excel as a law student rather than play basketball in Europe. Several of his old teammates made appearances in Blue Chips during his first year of law school: Billy Douglass (Lake Forest), Eric Anderson (Chicago All-star), and Demitrius Calip (Michigan). He took several of Kahn’s classes while he was a law student.
He made his broadcasting debut on December 22, 1994, during a game against Jackson State University, during his second year of law school, as the home game color analyst for Wolverines basketball play-by-play announcer Chuck Swirsky on a 16-station broadcast network that emanated from WJR-AM. He worked as a Winston & Strawn LLP intern while in law school. In 1996, Pelinka received his Cumlauded Juris Doctor degree.
Rob Pelinka Career
In his high school, Pelinka had started at the shooting guard position. Later, he switched to the role of a point guard. The area’s top shooter guided his high school to its first conference title. Back then, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Duckworth, and Kendall Gill all participated in Rob’s pro-am league team in Chicago.
Later, Rob became a point guard for the Wisconsin Badgers, playing in the Big Ten competition. Similar to this, Rob won MVP honors in a 1987 tournament in Elgin after scoring 139 points. He was listed among the top 10 Class AA basketball players by the Illinois High School Basketball Magazine.
His outstanding achievement caught the attention of numerous universities in the Chicago area. Rob ultimately settled on Michigan University in his search for a top law school and business school.
He was a member of the Michigan Wolverines for four seasons. He made it to the 1988–1989 national finals with teammates Mark Huges, Glen Rice, and Terry Milles.
In the 1989 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the Wolverines defeated the team from Seton Hall University and prevailed. When he was a member of the team, Steve Fisher served as the head coach.
However, the Wolverines fell in the 1992 NCAA Tournament after Robert was redshirted for two consecutive seasons. The next year, Pelinka led the Ohio States to a 72-62 victory with 16 points over them.
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Rob Pelinka was the most charged player on the team during his final year. Pelinka also participated as a replacement in the 81-78 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in the national semifinal.
He received offers from European basketball organizations while participating in an NBA Summer Camp in California. He had other goals besides honing his skills as a player, though.
His interest in a career off the court changed once he met Detroit Piston’s vice-chairman Arn Tellem.
Rob Pelinka as a Sports Agent
As of right now, Pelinka represents 24 NBA draft picks. He joined Mayer Brown after becoming admitted to the bar. Four years later, under Tellem’s guidance, he decided to become an agent.
NBA agents reportedly earn about 4% of the salary and bonus they can negotiate on behalf of their clients. Notably, he was the creator of his Landmark Sports Agency.
Kobe Bryant Agent
Rob Pelinka has received the majority of the accolades in the NBA up to this point for representing the late great Kobe Bryant. Kobe trusted Pelinka because he stood by him and helped him during the 2003 sexual assault case against Bryant. Kobe’s seven-year, $136.4 million contract with the LA Lakers was negotiated by Pelinka in 2004.
Rob Pelinka himself served as Gianna Bryant, Kobe’s daughter’s godfather, Rob later helped Kobe extend his contract for three more years, from 2009–10 through 2013–14. Similar to that, Pelinka agreed to extend the contract for a further two years in 2013 in exchange for $48.5 million.
Sasha Vujacic Agent
In July 2008, Pelinka was appointed to represent NBA player Sasha Vujacic, who is Slovenian-American. Bill Duffy, Sasha’s former agent, and Sasha had broken up, and Sasha was now a free agent.
Rob Pelinka secured Sasha a $15 million, three-year deal to join the LA Lakers. Similar to this, Vujacic signed a one-year contract with the Anadolu Efes in 2011 to play in the Turkish Basketball League.
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Corey Maggette and Keyon Dooling Agent
Corey Maggette, a player in the Chicago region, was known to Pelinka. As a result, he had acted as Corey’s agent throughout his $50 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. Since July 2008, Corey has been required to play for the Warriors per the terms of the agreement.
Rob Pelinka helped Keyon Dooling sign a secretive contract with the New Jersey Nets in the same year, 2008.
Keyon had previously been a member of the Orlando Magic. Additionally, Keyon received a salary cap of $7.2 million as part of the agreement. To the end of the NBA season in 2011–12, however, no team had signed Dooling.
Derrick Williams and Andre Iguodala’s Agent
The 2011 NBA Draft’s second overall pick was Derrick Williams. Williams was under Rob’s management as he joined the Minnesota Timberwolves in December 2011. Williams committed to the New York Knicks in July 2015.
Rob Pelinka was well-known to Andre Iguodala, an Illinois high school standout, due to Rob’s prominence in that state. Iguodala chose Rob to be his agent and committed to the Philadelphia 76ers in August 2008.
Rob could bargain a six-year, $80 million contract with the 76ers after turning down offers of $3.8 million per year and $57 million contract extensions.
Eric Gordon and Derek Fisher Agent
The seventh pick overall in the 2008 NBA draft was Eric Gordon. In July 2008, Gordon and Pelinka signed a three-year, $8.4 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, due to an injury, he withdrew from the NBA Summer League.
Similar to Gordon’s New Orleans Hornets, Rob agreed to a four-year, $58 million contract with them in 2012.
In 2010, Derek Fisher was about to become a free agent. In the end, Pelinka worked with the Lakers to negotiate a 3-year, $10.5 million contract extension. Again, Pelinka had work to do in 2014 with unsigned Fisher.
Derek decided to seek a career as a coach because he had no offers to play further and had no plans to do so. As a result, Pelinka and the New York Knicks reached an agreement on a 5-year, $25 million coaching contract.
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Rob Pelinka as an NBA Executive
Back in February 2017, there were several rumors in the sports media that the Los Angeles Lakers were going to appoint Rob Pelinka as general manager.
Mitch Kupchak, who had previously held the position, had been fired. As a result, the information was confirmed, and Pelinka was assigned the responsibility in March 2017.
Rob Pelinka had a five-year deal to play for the Lakers. Magic Johnson, the club’s vice president of basketball operations, was his colleague. According to Johnson, Pelinka had his eye on the club presidency at the moment.
Rob Pelinka had a mediocre amount of success as a player in high school and college. He received recognition by being named to High School All-American. In addition, he was named the 1993 NCAA Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
He subsequently received the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship for the year. He is recognized as one of the top sports agents in his profession as well. He was ranked fifth among the top action sports agents in 2010 by Business Insider.
Rob Pelinka Relationship and Children
Rob Pelinka is a husband and father. In August 2005, he married Kristin Brett Schwarz. The lovely woman was born on September 22, 1976, in California.
The graduate of Corona del Mar High School earned a biology bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She also obtained her MD at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
Kristin is a pediatrician who has worked for Coastal Kids and Pacific Ocean Pediatrics. Currently, the pair is parents to one boy and one daughter.
Emery is their daughter, and Durham is their son. The two of them have not been the subject of any recent exterior affairs. Therefore, we might deduce that the couple is enjoying their marriage immensely.
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Net Worth and Salary
Rob Pelinka has represented a number of the NBA’s elite players. Agents often receive 4% of the salaries and deal money of the athletes they place.
In light of this, it is reasonable to assume that Pelinka amassed a sizeable fortune over his career. As of 2022, Rob Pelinka is worth $25 million.
He currently serves as General Manager of the LA Lakers, one of the best NBA teams. As a result, he only receives a salary there of about $5 million each year. As a result, in the years to come, he may be counted on to significantly enhance his fortune