The late Los Angeles Lakers legend in Kobe Bryant had an invaluable impact on the current Vice President of Operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, who served as Bryant’s agent during his playing years.

With the former Lakers superstar now gone, Pelinka said he often heard Bryant’s voice in his head telling him to “stay the course” and “finish the task” during the trying times that he had while inside the NBA bubble, according to ESPN.

In fact, the five-time NBA champion has always believed in Pelinka ever since he took over the helm for the franchise back in 2017.

“When I took the job, I remember he said, ‘Hey, I know what you did for me for 20 years,'” Pelinka said. “He said, ‘I’ll give you two, three years, you’ll fix this. You’ll get the Lakers back on top.'”

Three years later, Pelinka was able to pay back the trust and belief of Bryant and got the job done for the Lakers:

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“I guess you were right, man,” Pelinka said. “You give me the energy to do it.”

Being a long-time best friend to Bryant and a godfather to his daughter Gianna, it was a special achievement for Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers to win it all on the same year that they were both involved in a tragic accident:

“2020 has been a tragic and very difficult year in many ways, with what happened on Jan. 26,” he said. “And I think Kobe and Gianna have guided this team the entire year. Kobe’s voice is always in my head, always, every day, every minute. And I think to be able to — for LeBron [James], Anthony [Davis], Coach [Frank] Vogel, myself and for Jeanie [Buss], for us to be able to win this championship doesn’t take away the sting of the loss, but what it does is it helps us add to their legacy.”

Indeed, Kobe Bryant was able to leave an indelible mark on every life that he impacted while he was still alive. After a successful title run in 2020, Rob Pelinka will continue to honor his dear friend by bringing more glory to the Lakers franchise in the years to come.