Vlade Divac is stepping down as general manager and vice president of basketball operations for the Sacramento Kings.
“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 Vivek Ranadivé wrote in a 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.”
Dumars takes over, Walton safe
Divac will be replaced in the interim by Joe Dumars, who will participate in the search for a permanent general manager. Dumars, a Hall of Fame guard with the Detroit Pistons, has worked as an advisor with the Kings since 2019.
He’s gained increased influence with Ranadivé since joining the team, according to The Athletic. It’s not clear if he is a candidate for the permanent position.
Amick reports that head coach Luke Walton’s job is not in jeopardy. The Kings finished 31-41 this season, Walton’s first as head coach in Sacramento.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the general manager for the Kings,” Divac wrote in the statement. “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.”
Kings struggled under Divac
The Kings hired Divac as vice president of basketball operations in March of 2015 and named him general manager later that year upon the departure of previous general manager Pete D'Alessandro.
Divac oversaw the firing of head coach George Karl in 2016 and his replacement Dave Joerger three seasons later. Since the Kings hired Divac, they have failed to win more than 39 games in a season and have not made the playoffs.
Kings passed on Luka Doncic
During Divac’s tenure, the Kings selected Marvin Bagley, De’Aaron Fox, Zach Collins and Marquese Chriss in the first round of the NBA draft. The Kings took Bagley at No. 2 overall in 2018 with Luka Doncic still on the board.
Doncic was named Rookie of the Year and immediately become one of the league’s biggest stars with the Dallas Mavericks. Bagley has struggled to stay healthy or break into the Kings starting lineup when he is available.
Divac was a fixture with the Kings franchise, having played six seasons as Sacramento’s starting center from 1998-2004, a span that included the team’s playoff battles with Kobe Bryant’s and Shaquille O’Neal’s Los Angeles Lakers.
The franchise never came close to replicating that success with Divac in the front office and remain shut out of the postseason since 2006.
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