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Tale Told By Lakers GM Rob Pelinka Of Dinner Between Kobe, Heath Ledger Never Happened: Report

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - The Los Angeles Lakers' off-season continued its rocky start amid a new report that general manager Rob Pelinka may have lied about a story he publicly told involving Kobe Bryant and actor Heath Ledger.

According to ESPN, Pelinka claimed in March 2018 that Bryant was inspired by and met with Ledger during an address to players at the Lakers' practice facility with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as part of a "Genius Talks" series.

"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 only problem? "The Dark Knight" came out in theaters in July 2008, nearly half a year after Ledger died. A source with direct knowledge told ESPN "no such arrangement was made and no dinner ever took place."

Pelinka has faced criticism in recent weeks over the abrupt resignation of Earvin "Magic" Johnson as the Lakers' president, for which Johnson later directly blamed Pelinka.

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