Vivek Ranadive Rumors
Jason Jones: I asked Nik Stauskas was he bothered when it’s still brought up who the Kings really wanted to draft in 2014. I referenced Sam Amick’s Q&A from USA Today where Vivek Ranadive says he wanted Elfrid Payton. His answer: “Not really. Like I said they did me a favor sending me here to Philadelphia. I’ve had a really good opportunity to play even though I hadn’t been performing though my first year with the Sixers. I’m thankful that the organization gave me an opportunity, they drafted me, but if they felt like the made a mistake by drafting me then they felt like they made a mistake. I can’t do anything about it now.”
Gay still wants out. He says little, but he has not wavered. Cousins wants to stay and retains strong backing from principal owner Vivek Ranadive. And while Cousins again is among the league leaders in technicals and appears to be gaining weight, so far there have been no locker room outbursts directed at teammates or his head coach. Stats-wise, the seventh-year veteran is averaging career bests in points (27.8) and 3-point percentage (37.0), shooting 46.7 percent from the field and contributing 9.8 rebounds – a drop from 11.5 last year.
DeMarcus Cousins trade speculation won’t die as long as the Kings struggle, and they’re 6-9 – on pace for their seventh losing season in his seven-year career. But that doesn’t mean Sacramento will actually deal the star center. Jackie MacMullan on CSN Northeast: I asked about Cousins just recently again, and Vivek Ranadive, the owner of the Sacramento Kings, does not want to trade DeMarcus Cousins. And so as long as that’s the case, all this talk is just that. It’s talk.
Ranadive – who initiated the spat early last week by claiming, among other things, that none of the coaches or the general manager wanted to remain with the franchise he purchased from the Maloofs in May 2013 – contacted The Bee late Friday and offered what sounded like a combination act of contrition and concession speech. “I wanted to sincerely apologize to Geoff Petrie and his team,” the owner began, speaking softly. “I meant no disrespect. I have the utmost respect for what they have done for the franchise and what they have accomplished. I fully understand that it’s a huge privilege to own a basketball team, and as chairman of the ownership, the buck stops with me. I accept responsibility for everything. All the mistakes are my mistakes.”
Petrie and his front office staffers stayed around during the chaotic, time-compressed ownership transition to scout players and help incoming coach Michael Malone work out prospects before the June 27 NBA draft. “When it comes to some of the representations about myself and Keith Smart, and the management group that was there at the time,” Petrie vented to Deadspin, “it was basically, totally untrue. I brought everybody together at different occasions and said, ‘Look, we’re going to be professional here. We’re going to continue to work like we would every other year, and ultimately we will assist any new people that may come in here and try and make them comfortable and get situated.’ ”
Does the latest Vivek drama weigh on any of the players or staff at all, or do they seem to just be brushing it off? Jason Jones: Anyone who has been around has learned not to worry about what Vivek says. I don’t even consider what he said drama. He just got to talking, perhaps too much. And in making himself look good, he diminished the importance of people who had been here.
Geoff rarely goes off like that and in many points he made, he was spot on. I’ve talked to many folks who are no longer with the organization since Vivek took over and they all say all the issues start up top with him. Vivek hired Malone and then oversaw him being unfairly (in my opinion) fired. He hired Pete D’Alessandro to be the GM and then brought in Vlade and it wasn’t even clear to Pete that Vlade was his boss. Vivek wanted George Karl, even though almost anyone in the league would have told you that was not going to work. So I’m with Petrie on that point.