Is Vlade Divac the new ‘lead voice’ in Sacramento?


Sources say Vlade Divac has supplanted both GM Pete D’Alessandro and ex-Kings adviser Chris Mullin as Sacramento’s lead basketball decision-maker. (USA Today)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Sacramento Kings began this season 5-1, and it looked as though they were on their way to playoff contention. But ever since it’s been mostly upheaval, with DeMarcus Cousins contracting menegitis, Kings coach Mike Malone being fired, the firing of interim coach Tyrone Corbin, the hiring of George Karl, and the departure of former adviser Chris Mullin to become coach at St. John’s. With five games remaining in the season, the Kings are currently 27-50.

Now, according to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, former Kings center Vlade Divac has emerged as the lead voice to owner Vivek Ranadive. As Stein writes

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.

Other high-ranking officials in the Kings’ current setup include assistant GM Mike Bratz, scouting director Chris Gilbert and director of player personnel and analytics Dean Oliver, who left a position at ESPN to join Sacramento’s front office entering this season.

Sources say that Mullin began to lose sway with Ranadive after refusing the owner’s offer to replace Mike Malone as coach when Malone was abruptly fired in mid-December. As reported at the time, Mullin had interest in the position but did not want to begin his coaching career after the season had already begun, without the opportunity to assemble a veteran coaching staff or hold training camp.

Yet when the Kings lost 21 of their first 28 games under interim coach Tyrone Corbin, Ranadive could no longer stomach waiting until the offseason to undertake the more expansive coaching search that had been planned. The Kings instead ramped up their pursuit of George Karl and hired him away from ESPN, where the 63-year-old was working as an analyst, during the All-Star break.

The hiring of Karl as coach, followed by Divac’s surprise appointment in March, were Ranadive-driven decisions. The chain of events thus marks the second time in Ranadive’s brief tenure as Kings owner that he has hired a coach before hiring his lead basketball decision-maker, as seen with Malone and D’Alessandro.


  1. Sim Bhullar says:

    Vlade played his best in Kings Uniform against Lakers in the Playoffs

  2. Notabasketballguru says:

    I agree with you WOUT! Malone was doing fine when he was fired. 11-13 record is not a bad start especially when you have a young team and Cousins is out for several games. He was just starting to impose his system. The players looked comfortable with it! Look what Corbin has done in Utah… nothing’s special, nothing’s impressive! Clearly Ranadive doesnt have a basketball knowledge. Yeah he’s a businessman but he DOESNT HAVE A SINGLE BASKETBALL KNOWLEDGE.
    Fire Ranadive! LOL

  3. harriethehawk says:

    The Sacramento Kings are bottomfeeders and never will contend in the west. Thank you very much.

  4. OKC says:

    This whole year has been a screw up for Sacramento. First leaving Payton on the board and taking sauce, then firing the coach that had been instrumental in turning it around maturity wise for Cousins. Your star missed a lot of games early in the season and the team understandably had a slide, so you fire your coach? I remember Boogie saying he heard about Malone being fired of twitter, I’m sure he felt disrespected by that. It’s a good thing he is locked up for a good few more years.

  5. Wout says:

    Never should’ve fired Malone, he was doing an outstanding job, and every numbers proof that. Whtether it’d be the winning percentage, point scored, but most of all points allowed. Such a bad job by the owner, or whoever insistend on his firing.

    This coach gave Kings fans hope, for the first time in what, a year or 10? Maybe you didn’t get along with him inside the franchise, but why didn’t you adapt to him? The coach, especially when doing a good job, should get a lot more room and credits within an organisatizion. Which doesn’t mean he should be able to do whatever he wants. (prime example; Mark Jackson). I think the Warriors handled it great last year. But the Kings, and their owner, clearly didn’t. It shows that money won’t buy you anything, Prokhorov and the Nets are another example of that. And I’m glad because of that.