Who Gets The Crown? Pete D’Alessandro or Vlade Divac


"In the final installment of our “Who Gets the Crown?” series, A Royal Pain staff writer Jared Stone takes a look at one of the most important questions heading into the offseason. Who is calling the shots, or better yet, who should be calling the shots? It’s Pete D’Alessandro vs. Vlade Divac, Who gets the crown?"

Further sorting a hectic and chaotic Kings front office, Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive brought in his latest advisor, Kings legend Vlade Divac. Ranadive immediately named Vlade Vice President of Basketball and Franchise Operations last February. Vivek’s previous “lead advisor,” Chris Mullin, jetted to New York to become the next head coach of St. John’s. These events have led to a lot of speculation about front office hierarchy, and the rumor mills have been running amuck!

According to Yahoo’s Marc Spears, current Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro was against the hiring of Divac, whom he technically now reports to. Spears also hinted that D’Alessandro could be out of a job given past missteps and Vlade’s entrance. Could the two work together? Or does one have to go for this situation to work and for the Kings to move forward? Today, let’s tackle this issue and ask, who grabs the reigns to the Sacramento Kings? Or rather, “Who Gets the Crown?” D’Alessandro or Divac?

Pete D’Alessandro

Pete D’Alessandro has been apart of arguably the most dysfunctional front office organization in the NBA. His (or Ranadive’s depending on which reports you believe) decision to fire Coach Mike Malone after a 9-5 start to the 2014-15 season was an utter disaster and absolute embarrassment. The move was completely lampooned by the national media and Kings fans alike. Had current Coach George Karl been hired immediately, the move would’ve made more sense. But watching the “Ty Corbin Kings” was definitely not a pleasant experience.

However, for the most part, I feel Pete D’Alessandro’s decision making has been solid. “Low risk, high reward” moves such as swapping Luc Mbah a Moute for Derrick Williams, trading spare parts for Rudy Gay, and unloading Marcus Thornton‘s toxic contract have been beneficial to the team and have shown D’Alessandro’s willingness to pull the trigger. Some of his more questionable decisions include letting Isaiah Thomas walk with basically no compensation and signing Ramon Sessions (although he was subsequently traded to the Wizards midseason), at the expense of more playing time for the team’s young guards. The jury is still out on Pete’s draft picks, as it takes at least three years to assess a drafted player, especially in the “one-and-done” era.

Vlade Divac

"“When I first came here, I just observed everything and listened. I wasn’t sure (the front office) was going to work. But Vivek trusted me, trusted coach. I called everyone into a meeting and said, ‘If you want to be here, forget the past. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future. We need everyone’s help.’ Pete can be a big part of this. And these last two weeks, I see tremendous progress. We are getting along, functioning. Slowly we are fitting in together.” -Vlade Divac"

As for Vlade Divac, he has very limited front office experience. One thing he does have is history as a team builder. His past as the “glue” and “chemistry-guy” to the glory day Kings of the late 90’s and early to mid-2000’s could transfer over from his playing days to management. D’Alessandro will report to Vlade whether he likes it or not.

Divac has already made his opinions clear, particularly with his support of Ranadive’s decision to hire George Karl with just 30 games remaining in the season. Vlade is a huge fan of Karl, and found it best to pull the trigger on his hiring instead of conducting a long search in the offseason.

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Vlade has a similar view of the game as Karl. He envisions an aggressive defense that creates transition baskets and pass-heavy half-court sets that emphasize spacing and movement. Vlade, like Karl, likes to engage all five players while taking advantage of the talent of Cousins and Gay.

In conclusion, I feel like neither Vlade nor Pete should have to leave. While it will be interesting to see how decisions are made moving forward, I have no choice but to stay an optimist and hope my Kings will one day return to the playoffs. Hopefully, Vlade can bring some much needed positivity to this front office and the two can work together in harmony.

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