Vlade Divac the Kings' new lead voice

Vlade Divac has quietly emerged as the new lead voice of the Sacramento Kings’ front office, according to league sources. ‎Sources told ESPN.com ‎that Divac, who was recently hired by the Kings under the seemingly broad title of vice president of basketball and franchise operations, is indeed regarded as the team’s top basketball official by owner Vivek Ranadive after months of turbulence in Sacramento.

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October 6, 2015 | 12:01 pm EDT Update
Though he’s never been an All-Star, Hayward believes he belongs in that group of players. He made that clear when asked if he sees himself as a top seven or eight small forward in the NBA, a group that includes the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, DeMar DeRozan, Klay Thompson, etc. “I don’t look at myself like that,” Hayward responded. “I look at myself as one of the best in the league. Period.”
via Deseret News
Any lasting memories from visiting your dad when he was playing overseas? Devin Booker: He was a teammate of Danilo Gallinari. Gallo, I used to play one-on-one with him when I was 11 or 12. I was a big fan. He was the man in Italy. So you know, I’m playing Gallo one-on-one and he gave me his shoes, autographed. That was a big deal. I still have the shoes. I worked out in Denver and I had the same locker as him, so I told him about that. It’s crazy how that actually happened.
via SLAM
Gearon, who never hid his enmity for Ferry because of the indifference the GM showed him and his beloved franchise’s history, also noted he had an audio recording of the call. Levenson took it as a threat. He was floored — and in a tricky spot. Just a month before, Levenson had taken to CNN to proclaim he couldn’t be partners with Donald Sterling after audio of a racist comment made by the soon-to-be-removed owner of the Los Angeles Clippers leaked. Levenson told an Atlanta radio station “the league has to have a zero-tolerance policy against racism and discrimination in any form.”
via ESPN.com
“I get the sense Danny either doesn’t respect or value my opinion, which should be given to you and then you communicate my words to Danny,” Gearon wrote to Levenson in a 2012 email. “That seems very bureaucratic to me. I have built 3 separate billion-dollar business [sic] in my career in 4 countries. I have some of the savviest investors in the world as well as some of the wealthiest individuals in the world ask me for my thoughts on different subjects yet [for] a team I have been involved with either directly or indirectly for approximately 35 years [the] new GM doesn’t feel a need to have a direct communication with me.”
via ESPN.com
Ferry saw Wilkins as a remnant of the past, and the idolization of the “Highlight Factory” in Atlanta was yet another instance where the Hawks’ futile history was being held up as a guide for the future. Levenson and Ferry weren’t fans of Wilkins’ work as an analyst on the Hawks’ local television broadcasts, either. Ferry wanted to provide Wilkins opportunities to improve, such as introducing him to a media consultant to work on his techniques and having the Hawks’ assistant coaches meet with him before games to offer context on game plans that could be explained to fans.
via ESPN.com
While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout. In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources. “We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”
via ESPN.com
Gearon had agreed to the investigation, but he quickly grew dissatisfied. He didn’t like the fact Ferry was informed of what was going on almost immediately. The Atlanta partners joked it was the first time in the history of internal investigations that the subject was the first person notified. After nothing much turned up during the investigation’s first couple weeks, they protested the probe lacked teeth, a typical corporate internal investigation being performed by a firm that was being paid by the entity being investigated. When they received an email asking them to sift through their inboxes for items with possible racial connotations, Gearon made the Hawks’ general counsel aware of an email Levenson wrote on a late August night in 2012 from his home in Aspen, Colorado, in response to a request from Ferry for some thoughts about the Hawks’ game operations.
via ESPN.com
Though Levenson was also removed, awaiting the sale of the team, he still held a majority interest in the Hawks. Levenson was despondent over the way things had broken against Ferry, and the two spoke frequently about staging Ferry’s second act in Atlanta. By many accounts, Levenson came close to pulling the trigger. However, with the team on the market, he wanted to play it safe. Interest had not exactly been robust. Fans were coming out, buying tickets, concessions and merchandise — and the season-ticket base was expanding. The miscarriage of justice wrought on Ferry was devastating to Levenson, but there were simply too many items on the other side of the ledger working against him.
via ESPN.com
October 6, 2015 | 10:41 am EDT Update
There’s a decent chance Gentile, whose NBA rights are held by Houston, will be in the league next season, because the Rockets hope to bring him over for the 2016-17 campaign. Yet in this instance, Bender’s length and foot speed completely snuffed Gentile out of the game. Gentile backed off, unsure how to counter Bender’s length. The kid has a L-O-N-G way to go, with his physical development as well as a long-range game he’s still smoothing out, but we have to ask: How many 7-footers from Europe have sent a gaggle of NBA scouts home talking about his perimeter D?
via ESPN.com
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The Clippers have had three cracks at it with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan all in their primes, and they’re not afraid to admit the fourth could be their last — that another flameout will force them to ask whether the core has grown stale. “We’re right on the borderline,” Doc Rivers tells Grantland during a long sit-down at his office. “I have no problem saying that. I’m a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don’t win. It just doesn’t work. We’re right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it.”
via Grantland
Paul is movable even amid a glut of point guards, but he’s good only for the “win now” types, and dealing him would amount to a complete reconstruction of how L.A. plays. Rivers isn’t quite ready to think about specific changes yet, even as he acknowledges he might have to be in seven or eight months. “We’re all on that edge together,” he says. “I believe we’re gonna be really good. But if we’re not, it depends on how we play, and what the reason is. That’s what would make you make a big decision.”
via Grantland
Perhaps the most successful European big men in recent times are Gasol, whom Rambis coached, and Nowitzki. “He might be a combination of both of them,’’ Rambis said. “He can do so many things. You guys haven’t seen it yet. And some of it won’t come out for three, four, five years, either. He’s got to grow up, mature, develop, get stronger and [get] used to the NBA game. He already understands basketball and knows what to do, and he’s an unselfish player. He makes really good decisions. It wasn’t like he was a blank slate coming here.’’
via New York Post
I got to watch Bender from very close range. And I can assure you that he’s the realest of deals. ‎The slender 7-footer doesn’t turn 18 until November, but he can already do a little bit of everything. Bender runs the floor. He handles the ball. He scores inside and outside. He knows how to pass. He’s not afraid to bang even though he clearly needs to add bulk and strength. And, most of all, he’s already an impact player defensively who, despite his tender age and slight frame, can play the 3, 4 and 5.
via ESPN.com
Needless to say, it was a big change going from selling drugs to flipping Whoppers. The day I was arrested at school, I had $1,200 cash on me. Suddenly I was making minimum wage and wouldn’t come close to seeing that kind of money after a month’s worth of mopping floors and working the grill. Caron Butler: It took time to adjust to this new lifestyle. I saw guys rolling around in new cars, having new clothes, new Jordans — reminders of all the things I couldn’t afford. Old “friends” would come in and make fun of me because of my uniform. But I knew I couldn’t go back to jail — no matter how tempting the lure of quick money was. At Bray Community Center in Racine, where I first started playing organized basketball, there’s a photo of 21 black men, many of whom I used to run with. All were under the age of 25, and now they are all dead. I knew I had to turn my life around.
via The Players' Tribune
It’s been 20 years since I spent two weeks alone in that 10-by-12-foot cell, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My mother and I reflect on our times of adversity all the time. To recognize the delta between where we are now and where we once were — it’s surreal and it’s a blessing. Now I speak about my journey to younger generations who are at-risk because I was them. I didn’t have an easy, structured upbringing and then suddenly became an NBA All-Star and champion. I’ve spent time in jail. I lived in a neighborhood infested with drugs and gang culture. I grew up seeing people get stabbed and shot. Despite all of that, by the grace of God, hard work and the devotion of my mother, I’m in the position that I’m in today. Younger generations need to see a real, tangible example of making it.
via The Players' Tribune
October 6, 2015 | 8:47 am EDT Update
Ezeli’s rookie contract runs up next summer, when he could become a restricted free agent. If he remains healthy, Ezeli could land a big payday — either replacing Bogut as the Warriors’ starting center or signing elsewhere. For now, he’s focused on rebooting the Warriors’ title hopes and still keeping a close eye on Vanderbilt’s upcoming season. “I love coming back to Vanderbilt, especially in this light (as a champion),” Ezeli said. “Part of what drives me is that (Commodores) fan base. Those fans saw me grow up at Vanderbilt as a little freshman kid to an NBA player. So it’s still home to me.”
via The Tennessean
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Ian Clark knows he’s facing long odds, but that’s nothing new to him. One of five training-camp invites among a six-player competition for the final roster spot with the Warriors, Clark has made a career out of beating the odds. “For me, it’s just about playing with confidence, knowing what I can do and what I can’t do, and improving the things I need to do better,” Clark said before Monday’s exhibition opener in San Jose. He went scoreless in eight minutes, missing both of his shot attempts, one from beyond the arc.
via San Francisco Chronicle
Goran would have preferred having his brother around, but was realistic about the team’s perspective and Zoran’s viability in the NBA. Zoran logged 75 minutes in his first year in the league. “I was sad, of course,” Goran said of the trade. “I know how much he wants to be part of a team in the NBA, but I understand this is a business. That’s a better situation for him right now. He’s gonna get playing time. He signed a good deal in Russia. He’s happy. That’s a good thing.
via Palm Beach Post
Backup center Alexis Ajinca is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained right hamstring, the team announced Monday, and coach Alvin Gentry said after practice that Ajinca’s absence could lead to more small-ball lineups. “We’ll just try different combinations of players,” he said. “One of the things that we’ll do is we’ll experiment a little bit with (Anthony Davis at center) and then play even a small lineup where Dante Cunningham may even (play power forward), and three guards — Tyreke (Evans) and Jrue (Holiday) and Eric (Gordon) or Norris (Cole) — in there.”
via The Advocate
Danilo Gallinari sat down for an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport about the upcoming season for the Denver Nuggets, as well as his Eurobasket experience. (…) Q: Malone said he’s gonna use you as a SF and as a “stretch four”, like Americans say. Do you have a preference? Danilo Gallinari: Well, we have already talked about it a lot, we have already planned situations in which I’m gonna start as a SF, then I can be used as a 4 as the game goes on. It depends on the team we’re facing, the trend of the game, but often I’m gonna play as a stretch four, as he says, spreading the floor. We’ve already tried most of these schemes, so basically I already have these situations set in my mind.
via denverstiffs.com

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