Mike Bratz Rumors
The day after the San Antonio loss, the players had a well-publicized players-only meeting. What hasn’t been reported is that after the players spoke, Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac and assistant GM Mike Bratz talked to the players and Divac asked the team, “We don’t know what to do with George [Karl], do you think we should fire him?” The players, a person close to the situation said, were shocked and didn’t know how to respond. Stunned speechless and lacking a leader, the Kings then trotted out Omri Casspi and Caron Butler to meet the media. Casspi played for the team a few years ago, but was in Houston last season and just re-signed with Sacramento less than two months ago. Butler was signed in the offseason.
How did you figure out how to work the salary cap and the details of the draft and free agency? Who did you lean on in those areas? Vlade Divac: I leaned on Mike Bratz. He’s a guy who’s been in basketball for 30 years and a big help in the process. My idea was: If you want to change the culture, you can’t do it overnight, and you can’t do it with the foundation we had. So many young guys, and we had to do something completely opposite. So when we decided to go after the crazy trade that everybody thinks was stupid, I knew that down the road that was the only way. Because we don’t want to rebuild, we don’t want to take time – we want to win right now. This franchise and these fans deserve to have a winning team after suffering for 10 years.
Q: What was your plan to settle things when the George Karl-DeMarcus Cousins situation became national news? Vlade Divac: I knew why (there was a problem). There was a lot of frustration with everybody, and (everyone) just needed time to get out of here, spend some time in the summer away from basketball, away from the pressure, the media. I was hoping I could use the summertime to individually talk to Coach and DeMarcus and find the right moment to bring them together. And I really didn’t pay attention to what people were saying about Coach and DeMarcus. I know he’s one of the best coaches and he’s one of the best players. They didn’t understand each other, they didn’t trust each other, but that all comes from frustration from the previous year. Actually, years for DeMarcus and the last 30 games for Coach. My job was to take them away from each other and make sure I build the trust and start fresh. And I’m so happy with the meeting we had in Las Vegas, and they realized only together we can do it and separately we’re not going to do it, no matter how much talent and experience we have. And now we are on that page. Everybody. Not just DeMarcus and Coach but (assistant general manager) Mike (Bratz), the front office, coaches, players. And that’s what you need to hear.