Vivek Ranadive spoke about the structure of the Sacramento Kings' front office and how he's working on learning from his previous mistakes.
Ranadive initially hired Pete D'Alessandro as general manager, but Vlade Divac is now in charge.
“Vlade makes the decisions,” said Ranadive. “Two people report directly to me. Chris Granger, who runs the business side, and Vlade from the basketball side. I want to make that clear as we move forward. We have a lot of work to do, and we are all in this together.”
The Kings had three coaches last season with Tyrone Corbin replacing Michael Malone before George Karl was hired in February.
“I made mistakes,” Ranadive said, “and I’m sure I’ll make more mistakes. Hopefully, I’ll make different ones. But I am successful at everything I do, and that’s not going to change. We are trying to build something special here, not just for one year, but for many years. And I’m learning that the journey is not going to be easy."
D’Alessandro was assured by Divac that his negotiating skills and salary cap acumen are appreciated.
“All of us have different skills,” Ranadive said, “and everyone has their roles. Vlade is a unifier, a conductor, and he is very smart. People probably don’t realize that when he was back in Serbia (as head of the Olympic committee), he was dealing with political leaders at the highest level. He can interact with the person who carries your bag and interact with the president of a country. And he has a strong stomach. He wears big-boy pants. George, he is a future Hall of Fame coach. I have always respected him as a coach, and now I am getting to know him as a human being. And, yes, I ask dumb questions, and I am still an irritant. But I am counting on Vlade to pull this all together.”
Ranadive's two most important changes seem more instinctive than calculating.
“That is true,” Ranadive said, “but like I said, some of this is not rocket science. We just want to hire the best people. When I bought the team, I didn’t know anybody, and what I have discovered is that the NBA culture tends to be more of a ‘crony’ culture than Silicon Valley. ‘This is my guy. Hire this guy.’ I want loyal people, and Vlade is loyal.”