"no such arrangement was made and no dinner ever took place."
Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka has come under fire in recent weeks, specifically after Magic Johnson revealed how Pelinka "betrayed" him during their brief stint working together. The latest head-scratching story about Pelinka involves his former client, Kobe Bryant, and the late actor, Heath Ledger.
ESPN's Baxter Holmes recently detailed the story from back in March 2018, when Kobe allegedly asked to meet Ledger after watching his performance as The Joker in "The Dark Knight." According to Pelinka, Kobe picked Ledger's brain about how he got into character for that iconic role, and then used that mentality during a game against the Knicks.
However, Holmes explains that Pelinka's tale isn't true at all - and "The Dark Knight" didn't even come out until six months after Ledger passed away.
One story shared around the organization unfolded in March 2018, when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was addressing the team at the Lakers’ practice facility as part of the franchise’s “Genius Talks” series. Standing beside Johnson, Pelinka told a story about his former client, Bryant.
“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,'” Pelinka said. “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.’ 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.” The Dark Knight was released in July 2008, six months after Ledger died. A source with direct knowledge said no such arrangement was made and no dinner ever took place.
Check out footage of Pelinka's story in the video embedded below.