I'm a big fan of Sactown magazine, and not just because of its name or subject matter. Rob Turner and Elyssa Lee put out a glossy befitting a major city -- which Sacramento is -- with some really great content. It recruits the best editors, designers and writers the region has to offer, and picks great topics. Like, this month for example, local writer Anita Chabria delved into Vivek Ranadivé for the cover story.
You've really got to read this piece. If you live around Sacramento, get a copy of the magazine (or better yet, subscribe). For those of you out of the area, I'm not sure if you can buy back copies, but you should probably try. It's an incredible look into Vivek's history and philosophy, far deeper than anything we've ever seen to date.
The story's not available online, nor are the pretty awesome photos (including one of an 18-year-old Vivek headed to the airport with the infamous $50 in his pocket). I plucked out three quotes to share that will change how you think about Vivek, hopefully for the better.
Soon after his presentation to the NBA owners [in Dallas], Ranadivé spotted venture capitalist Chris Hansen, one of the leaders of the Seattle group, leaning against a wall. He felt Hansen must have known he had lost. "I went up and introduced myself to Chris Hansen and I said, 'Look, you know, nothing personal, but if it comes up that we win this, then you have my commitment that I'll do everything possible to help Seattle get a team,'" he recalls. "'Seattle deserves to have a team and it's my personal belief that it shouldn't come from Sacramento. I know it's a tough thing for you to swallow, but I'll do anything I can to help you get a team, if that's what you want.'" Hansen, he says, was gracious in his reply.
Hansen then gave the Sacramento anti-arena group $100,000, but whatever. Our owner has a helluva lot of grace.
And Ranadivé is doing things differently with the Kings, like hiring [Michael] Malone two weeks before he officially owned the team, and before hiring a GM, the opposite of the traditional route to staffing up. He says he knew he wanted Malone and other teams were courting him, so why wait? He invited Malone to TIBCO for lunch. Malone thought they were just going to talk basketball. He was the Warriors assistant coach and knew Ranadivé well. But, "the first thing, he goes, 'Well, Coach, let's get this over with. I want you to be my coach. Is that OK? Is it?'" Malone recalls with a laugh. "I was like, 'Uh, yeah, that's OK,' and we just went from there."
And here's the kicker.
But they kept the deal secret. "He could tell you everybody says in the NBA, there are no secrets," says Malone. "I said, 'Well, Vivek, let's prove everybody wrong.' And no one knew about it for two weeks."
Sam Amick broke the Malone news on May 30. The BoG meeting in Dallas was May 15. That puts the Vivek-Malone agreement right around ... May 16? May 17? Before the Long Live the Kings Rally on May 22. Just insane.
Ranadivé does not yet know what the arena will look like, but he knows what it won't. In July, a dozen architects presented ideas. He scrapped them all, he says. None understood what he was going for: glory. The kind of building you look upon with wonder, the kind you tell people you saw. An icon like San Francisco's Transamerica building or the Sydney Opera House. People will recognize it by the mere sketch of its outline. "When you buy a postcard of California, it's going to have our arena on it," he says.
Can't frickin' wait.
More from Sactown Royalty:
- Kings vs. Lakers score: Travis Outlaw (!) leads Sacramento to 104-86 victory
- Kings vs. Lakers preview: DeMarcus Cousins's turn to show off his summer work
- The Sactown Royalty Show Ep 18: Section214 Talking Preseason
- Report: Greivis Vasquez to make his Kings debut on Monday against the Clippers
- StR Night I: Ticket Donation thread