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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.’ ”
League sources have told KFBK that Ranadive’s repeated calls to the NBA league office -- "telling the league how to do its job better" are being met with "avoidance" and "reluctance" to be returned. Sacramento is mired in a 10-year playoff drought that former Kings player and current VP of basketball operations, Vlade Divac is trying to end. Divac is attempting to restore the franchise to its glory days building around All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.
A self-described “irritant,” Ranadive is now on his fourth coach in his three years of ownership. Fired Saturday by the Grizzlies, Joerger replaces the fifth-winningest coach in NBA history in George Karl, who went 33-49 this season and 44-68 overall, in his short tenure in California’s capital city.
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.
Q: What do you make of the reports that Wallace interviewed for a front office job with Sacramento? A: I’m not sure what to make of them. Wallace has flatly denied the reports. Other Grizzlies sources have said they’re not true. But it wasn’t some rinky-dink outfit reporting this. It was USA Today and ESPN. I also talked to a source on the Sacramento side, who not only said Wallace interviewed for a job, he entered into contract negotiations and would have taken the gig except the Kings decided to go another way. Logic would tell you it makes no sense for Wallace to take a lesser job with the Kings, but logic would also tell you that ESPN and USA Today don’t just make things up.
Brian Geltzeiler: League sources also told http://Hoopscritic.com that ultimately Vlade hired Catanella because he came at a cheaper price and was no threat
Sacramento Kings Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Vlade Divac announced today that the team has named Ken Catanella as Assistant General Manager.
“We are focused on building a winning team and part of that process is ensuring we have a sound front office structure,” said Divac. “We are thrilled that Ken Catanella is joining the Kings to help us build on our progress and drive success on the court. Ken’s unique statistical and player expertise will provide a significant boost to our basketball operations team.”
The Sacramento Kings are about to check a big box from their long list of summer needs. CSN California has confirmed that the Kings are in advanced negotiations to add Detroit Pistons assistant general manager Ken Catanella to their front office staff.
Sources say Mike Bratz will remain with the club as adviser to the GM and director of scouting. He has developed a strong rapport with Divac since Divac returned to the organization last ‎season.
While the coaching search is in its fledgling state, the search for front office help has taken a step backwards. David Morway, who worked for both the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks in the past has been in conversations to join the team for some time. But CSN has confirmed that he is no longer a candidate for the job.
The Kings have been steadily working on an agreement to hire David Morway into a top front-office position under Vlade Divac, but no contract has been finalized, sources said. Morway had a successful run as the general manager of the Indiana Pacers under president Larry Bird and mostly recently had been the assistant general manager in Milwaukee.
Divac said his greatest basketball experience was playing for the Kings from 1998 to 2004, a time that offered refuge from his war-torn Serbian homeland. That was real-life stress. Not that this season hasn’t been taxing. “Stressful?” Divac said. “Look, it’s a time where you want to build something. Stress? Come on. This is basketball. It’s sports; it’s fun. You want to create that environment. Are we having fun? No, not yet. My goal is to create a team that will have fun and play hard for the best fans in the league. They deserve better.”
Divac said he has learned his role as GM on the fly, beyond player evaluation and crunching salary data. “I know what I know, and I don’t know what I don’t know,” Divac said with a laugh. “It’s been a great experience. It’s a wonderful place to work. I feel confident in this position. We are moving forward. It’s not what we wanted in terms of results. This team, with the talent we put together last summer, should’ve been in the playoffs. We obviously didn’t do that. After the season, we’ll find what was the problem and fix it.”
The search for fresh front office blood has officially begun. CSNCalifornia.com has confirmed that longtime Brooklyn Nets executive turned Yahoo Sports analyst Bobby Marks was in Sacramento on Thursday for a meeting with the Kings brass. If he’s added to the team, Marks would work alongside Divac, assistant GM Mike Bratz and Director of Player Personnel Peja Stojakovic in an undetermined role, giving the team one more piece to their front office puzzle.
Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac were using All-Star weekend in Toronto to canvass league officials on possible candidates to hire as general manager, league sources told The Vertical. The Kings are starting to acknowledge that Divac has been overwhelmed with the complexities of the collective bargaining agreement and the sophisticated ways with which most NBA organizations are run now.
Privately, the Kings have been telling people they plan to run a GM and a coaching search once the regular season ends. Sacramento has committed to keeping coach George Karl for the rest of the regular season, but has shown no inclination to bring him back next season, sources said.
Divac, who added the title of general manager before the season, fortunately is smart enough to know what he doesn't know. His plan has been to hire a general manager, someone to fill in the massive front office gaps.
Washington's Tommy Sheppard is available. Former Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry, undoubtedly humbled by his racially insensitive remarks and hungry for another chance, is worth a look. Zarren ranks high on everyone's list.
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