Ken Catanella Rumors
With the Pistons, Stan Van Gundy wears the dual role of coach and team president, with Jeff Bower as his No. 2 with the general manager title. Catanella was one of three assistant general managers under Bower with the Pistons. But Catanella said he will take what he has learned over the decade spent working with the Nets, the NBA and the Pistons. “There’s definitely more than one way to skin a cat in the NBA, there’s no one way to win in terms of how you set up your front office, but clearly I’m going to take a lot from what I learned with Jeff and Stan,” Catanella said. “Their process-oriented approach, their family approach as far as including all the scouts and staff members and family members. You feel very much part of a family.”
Heading into the offseason, what will you be focusing on stepping into this role as an Assistant General Manager? “I look forward to collaborating with the Kings front office and basketball operations staff – helping them continue to move to the upper echelon in the League in areas including but not limited to: player evaluation and scouting, player development, analytics, salary cap management and sports science, while putting processes and best practices into place that I’ve observed in the NBA, college and international ranks.”
But the Kings have done two smart things in the past two weeks: hiring Ken Catanella from the Pistons as assistant general manager, and snaring Joerger. Both hiring processes were a little messy. The race for the spot that eventually went to Catanella was marred by miscommunication, per several league sources. Coaches asked out of the Kings’ hiring process, and others simply used them as leverage to prove they could make the short list of at least one team.
Sometimes there appears to be a civil war among basketball’s executives. On one side are the “basketball guys,” the old-school minds who trust their eyes for their evaluations and are considered dinosaurs by the younger generation. On the other side is the analytics crowd, the numbers guys the older generation sarcastically says judge players with calculators because they don’t know the game. Then there’s Ken Catanella. Catanella, hired Thursday by the Kings as assistant general manager, is caught between the two, making him ideal for the new role. The Kings have been searching for someone who knows the NBA salary cap and the collective bargaining agreement to help general manager Vlade Divac.
Catanella is a numbers whiz who worked as a graduate assistant for the Duke men’s basketball team while pursuing his MBA. He played at Amherst College and professionally for the Cologne 99ers, and was the general manager for that franchise in Germany. Catanella also has worked for the NBA as a salarycap and analytics expert, and he’s worked on Wall Street. He was an assistant general manager for the Detroit Pistons before joining the Kings. “My history in the game has been (across) the basketball spectrum,” Catanella said. “My education happens to be in the CBA and analytics, and that’s actually what I bring to an organization. So I’m very much looking forward to working with Vlade, whose basketball credentials speak for themselves.”