Advertisement

Lakers GM: Kobe Bryant dined with Heath Ledger after actor's death

By
Jake Elman
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant won five NBA titles. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant won five NBA titles. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 28 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka once told his players that former Lakers star Kobe Bryant dined with Heath Ledger after the actor had died in 2008.

During a March 2018 team meeting featuring guest speaker Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Pelinka told a story about Bryant wanting to meet Ledger after Bryant saw The Dark Knight. Pelinka was Bryant's agent for 18 years. Ledger portrayed The Joker in the 2008 movie.

Advertisement

"[Bryant was] like, 'Hey, hook me up with dinner with Heath Ledger, because he got so locked into that role. I want to know he mentally got there,'" Pelinka recalled. "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 Dark Knight was released in July 2008, more than five months after Ledger died from an accidental drug overdose.

ESPN reported Tuesday that "no such arrangement was made and no dinner ever took place."

The now-viral clip of Pelinka's error continues a recent rough trend for the Lakers' front office. Former Lakers team president Magic Johnson accused Pelinka of spreading misinformation about him during an appearance on ESPN's First Take last week. Johnson stepped down from his position in April.

"If you're going to talk betrayal," Johnson said, "it's only with Rob."

RELATED Lakers' Pelinka denies 'backstabbing' allegations

Pelinka called Johnson's comment "surprising to hear and disheartening."

"I've always supported everything he's done and will continue to," Pelinka told reporters last week.

Los Angeles has not made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season.

RELATED Magic Johnson on Lakers trading LeBron James: 'That's not going to happen'

Latest Headlines