Vivek Ranadivé’s first move upon buying the Kings was hiring coach Michael Malone. The new owner followed by hiring general manager Pete D’Alessandro.
Critics decried the timeline.
How could Ranadivé hire a coach before a general manager? A general manager wants to pick his own coach. That dynamic will never work.
Ranadivé admitted his error – though there’s a catch (more on that later).
Ranadivé on D’Alessandro and Malone, via Sam Amick of USA Today:
They hated each other’s guts.
These two guys (Malone and D’Alessandro), they never spoke. They hated each other. They hated each other’s guts. It was like one person would say one thing, and then the other person would say another thing. And they wanted to get rid of him very early on, and I was the one who said ‘No, no, let’s make it work. Let’s make it work.’
After being ousted in Sacramento, D’Alessandro returned to the Nuggets, whose front office he worked in before getting the Kings job. This isn’t a case where a team hires someone only to find out the new employee doesn’t live up to expectations. D’Alessandro is known in Denver, and the Nuggets thought enough of him to re-hire him.
Then, the Nuggets hired Malone, who had been fired by Sacramento.
If D’Alessandro and Malone loathed each other so much, would Denver have really hired Malone? Would Malone – who was highly coveted due to his work with the Kings, including jelling with DeMarcus Cousins – have taken the Nuggets job?
It’s difficult to believe.
But let’s just say Ranadivé is telling the complete truth. Who hired Malone and D’Alessandro? Ranadivé. Who fostered their work environment? Ranadivé. The owner is not exempt from blame here.
D’Alessandro and Malone are in Denver, but one way or another, the Kings still have their problem.