What Vlade Divac’s Dominance Assertion Means For The Kings


The Sacramento Kings have not been in a great place as a franchise for the past decade, as evidenced by the Kings having the longest current streak of lottery picks, at nine straight seasons. So clearly the goal for Sacramento isn’t even honestly a championship at this point–the Kings first need to be established as an actual NBA-caliber team.

More from Kings News

Three men are often cited as the 2015 Sacramento Kings braintrust: George Karl, Vlade Divac and Vivek Ranadive. The coach, general manager and owner (respectively) of the Kings are responsible for the organization, and if they want to ensure Sacramento isn’t a lottery team for the tenth straight season they need to be on top of their game.

Or, maybe just one of them does. For the first time in a long time considering Ranadive’s Nik Stauskas ordeal and the meddling Maloofs, it seems as though there may be someone in the Kings organization besides the ownership who has some real power.

I want to be in charge of everything and if we make mistake then I know I made mistake, nobody else. -Divac

Vlade Divac is that person, and he wants you to know it, too. He seems to be a good GM thus far; he managed to draft the best player available for the Kings and is smart enough to refuse to deal DeMarcus Cousins, despite a petty Karl failed power move.

We’ll see how he handles that precarious Karl-Cousins situation and the upcoming perils and pitfalls of free agency, but so far it seems Divac is a no-nonsense GM who has a clear objective–to make Sacramento a relevant organization again–and knows how to reach his goal.

I believe he will actually be able to pull it off due to the power he has in the organization. When several leadership voices all clash, an undesired result tends to occur. Look at last year’s draft, when confusion in the war room lead to Stauskas being picked over All-Rookie First Teamer Elfrid Payton, despite the front office reportedly preferring Payton.

Contrast that to this season, and the difference is clear. Divac seems far more preoccupied doing what’s best for the Kings than with pleasing his owner or his coach.

That’s readily apparent in this quote from Sactown Royalty writer Blake Ellington:

"…Divac continued to stand alone and give examples of his control over the basketball decision-making. He said Ranadive and Karl didn’t know who the pick was going to be until the last second and that the owner begged him to tell him."

That doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but Sacramento fans should be very excited. It seems as though someone competent is running the Kings, and that finally the team’s ownership has learned that the best approach is one far less involved than in previous years.

Who knows, maybe this role change will finally get the Sacramento Kings back out of the NBA Draft Lottery.

More from A Royal Pain