The Sacramento Kings are searching for stability, and ownership believes they have found it with their latest front office hire.
Vlade Divac was recently named vice president of basketball operations, and it’s only taken him a little over a month to earn the right to wield the bulk of the organizational power.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Sources told ESPN.com that Divac, who was recently hired by the Kings under the seemingly broad title of vice president of basketball and franchise operations, is indeed regarded as the team’s top basketball official by owner Vivek Ranadive after months of turbulence in Sacramento.
The Kings have yet to formally announce their new power structure, but sources say that Divac has supplanted both general manager Pete D’Alessandro and former Kings adviser Chris Mullin — who just jumped to the college game as the new coach at alma mater St. John’s — as Sacramento’s lead basketball decision-maker.
The future of D’Alessandro in Sacramento, especially after the departure of his closest ally in the organization in Mullin, is unclear. Sources say, however, that the Kings have already launched a search to add another front-line basketball executive to work alongside Divac whether D’Alessandro stays or departs.
Ranadive has been anything but patient with his failing franchise, and has been consistent in making decisions quickly before forming well-thought-out opinions. He hired his head coach before he hired a general manager, which is something you just don’t do in the NBA for fear the two won’t see eye-to-eye in terms of how a roster should be assembled. Ranadive later admitted that this was a mistake.
The Kings ended up firing Mike Malone early in the season, then signed interim head coach Tyrone Corbin for the remainder of the year, only to replace him with George Karl before the season was finished.
This move to empower Divac, and the one to bring on Karl, could be the beginnings of Sacramento creating a stable situation. But unless ownership can become more tolerant and commit to a plan that lasts more than a single season, the Kings will remain the Kings — the worst franchise in the NBA for going on nine straight seasons.