It started when Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive — in a combination of his recollections of taking over the Kings and a whitewashing of his errors — built up his credentials as the savior of the franchise, and threw then GM Geoff Petrie under the bus.
“I needed somebody to go and actually work out the players. Nobody wanted to be there. There was no coach (Keith Smart), no GM. Geoff (Petrie) didn’t want to be there. There was nobody there.”
Understandably, Petrie took offense.
“The thing about this particular part of the interview, it’s just totally untrue. The idea that everybody wanted to … that there was nobody there to do any work. These are people that spent 10, 15, 20 years working for the Kings, who were part of the most successful period they ever had, and they’re now, it’s like, “because they don’t matter anymore, I can say anything I want about them.”
Rather than go full Trump and double-down on a failing strategy, Ranadive did the smart thing and apologized. Time to put the past in the past and move on. He reached out to Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee and made this statement.
“I wanted to sincerely apologize to Geoff Petrie and his team,” the owner began, speaking softly. “I meant no disrespect. I have the utmost respect for what they have done for the franchise and what they have accomplished. I fully understand that it’s a huge privilege to own a basketball team, and as chairman of the ownership, the buck stops with me. I accept responsibility for everything. All the mistakes are my mistakes.”
That’s the right play.
The Kings are an organization trying to turn things around — new coach, new arena, new attitude. They want to make the playoffs this season for the first time in a decade. We can debate how well that is going or will go, but no doubt that to take a step forward they have to get out of the mire of the past. This was a move in the right direction.