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Kings owner Vivek Ranadive met with various applicants in an exhausting search for the General Manager position and many thought Grizzlies executive Chris Wallace was at the top of it. Larry Bird was up for the post but balked at the offer. The Kings search just about rivaled The Hunger Games until a name and candidate emerged from the depth pool.
"I wanted him to hurry up… because we have a lot of important things coming up but I feel confident in Pete" Coach Michael Malone said of Ranadive’s pace. Well the search is over. Pete D’Alessandro was introduced as the Kings General Manager today in a press conference at Sleep Train Arena.
"I want to thank Vivek for giving me this opportunity to be part of guiding the Kings back to greatness. I'm anxious to begin working towards building this exciting new era for the franchise."- Pete D'Alessandro
Pete D’Alessandro inherits a team currently helmed by the outgoing Geoff Petrie who has served as Kings General Manager since 1994. With a loyal fan-base and city that have been tested both emotionally and financially over the last few seasons it’s a breath of fresh air. Although the uncertainty of relocating has been resolved there are still problems to correct. The cowbells have been long dormant and there is much trouble in the kingdom.
The Kings flourished in the second half but skidded to a 28-54 mark this season, their seventh straight season with a sub .500 record. Also the Kings and D'Alessandro must figure out what to do with free-agent to be Tyreke Evans and mercurial star DeMarcus Cousins. These questions need to be answered on a short timeline, a tough task for any adept GM.
Of note was an interesting question posed by the guys over at Cowbell Kingdom on the role of analytics and how that would figure into the new ownership. D’Alessandro scoffed but elaborated "almost every team has an analytics department". Pete came across as well aware of the role the stats and advanced metrics play into decisions, especially for a small market like Sacramento and a ownership with a technological background.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive hinted at analytics translating to the off-court side of things adding "You could tweet about the pizza being cold and using our analytics before you were even upset, we could do something nice for you" Vivek said the new ownership is ‘fan-first’ and it’s showing. With Chris Mullin reportedly being offered a consultant role Vivek Ranadive is surrounding himself with great basketball talent.
Over at A Royal Pain a different take on things,
"The Mullin-D’alessandro front office gave out a number of large contracts to undeserving players, including Mike Dunleavy Jr., Troy Murphy, Adonal Foyle, Jason Richardson and Andris Biedrins. This is worrisome to me for several reasons. In a small market like Sacramento, it is very important to be conservative about which players you shell out the big bucks for, as a bad contract or two can hamstring a franchise for years. It can also be hard to attract free agents to a place like Sacramento without overpaying, and when teams do overpay, they end up much like the Warriors were from 2004-2008, playing for the 8th seed and often falling short"
This new chapter in Kings history seems to have Pete D’Alessandro enthused and excited about the opportunity. Pete, celebrating his 45th birthday Monday blew out a butter cream frosted Kings cake "You know my wishes, there's a trophy in this one".
How sweet would that be?