LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With the Sacramento Kings failing to make the playoffs at any point during his five-year tenure, Vlade Divac stepped down as the team’s general manager on Friday. The Kings named Joe Dumars as the interim executive vice president of basketball operations, and he will immediately assume GM duties.
"This was a difficult decision, but we believe it is the best path ahead as we work to build a winning team that our loyal fans deserve," Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadivé said in a team-released statement. "We are thankful for Vlade’s leadership, commitment and hard work both on and off the court. He will always be a part of our Kings family."
The Kings made the decision a day after their season ended with a 31-41 record, marking the 14th consecutive year the franchise failed to make the playoffs. Sacramento reveres Divac, when he helped the Kings to six consecutive playoff appearances as a player (1999-2004), including in an appearance in the Western Conference finals in 2002. During Divac’s five-year tenure as the general manager, though, Sacramento had three different head coaches and a combined 162-238 record. The Kings have often been criticized for selecting Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA draft ahead of Luka Doncic.
Vlade Divac joined the Kings front office in March 2015. (Photo: Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports)
"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the General Manager for the Kings," Divac said in a statement released by the team. "I want to thank Vivek for the opportunity and recognize all of the incredible colleagues who I had the great pleasure of working with during my tenure. Sacramento and the Kings will always hold a special place in my heart and I wish them all the best moving forward."
The Kings added that Dumars will be involved in the franchise’s search for a permanent general manager. They said they will not make any personnel decisions until they hire their next GM. The NBA draft lottery takes place on Aug. 20, followed by the draft on Oct. 16. In between, all NBA teams will have to interview prospects as well as watch draft workouts via Zoom.
"Joe has become a trusted and valued advisor since joining the team last year, and I am grateful to have him take on this role at an important time for the franchise," Ranadivé said.
Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Source: Read Full Article