Geoff Petrie has for two decades run the Sacramento Kings basketball operations department. He's been here for the very best years of the Kings, and the very worst. And now he's gone. Regardless of your feeling on Petrie as a decision-maker at this point -- Lord knows I've been harsh on him -- he's always seemed to really respect fans and the people of Sacramento.
On Tuesday, he talked to a couple media outlets, and it's pretty clear that the respect for Sacramento is genuine. In an interview with CBS Sacramento's Steve Large, Petrie heaps praise on Kevin Johnson and everyone involved in the effort to keep the Kings in town.
"My hat is off to the entire coalition of people that pulled off one of the greatest off-the-court fourth quarter comebacks that I've ever seen."
In an interview with The Bee's Jason Jones, Petrie said he hoped the Kings could stay all along, despite loyalty to the Maloofs.
"That's where my heart was in the whole thing," Petrie said. "In spite of being grateful to the Maloofs and working for them all those years, I had really strong feelings that the team needed to stay here. My hat's off to those people."
He told Large that a Maloof called him the night before news broke about the Seattle sale to give him a heads up, but that there was no real involvement of him from that point on. He insinuated that the repeatedly low payrolls and lack of resources offered up by the Maloofs were necessary for the family's financial survival.
Large said Petrie told him he went to the Maloofs early in the season -- before the Seattle news -- and told them it was time to transition the front office. Whether in Petrie's mind that meant giving the keys to his son and assistant GM Mike Petrie or looking elsewhere is unclear.
In Jones' piece, Petrie also discusses how odd the front office transition has been in the run-up to the draft, and Michael Malone gushes about the aid offered by Petrie. There's also a bit in Large's interview in which Petrie says the team would have been better if the Maloofs hadn't pushed Rick Adelman out in 2006. (That's like a hybrid of "no duh" and "great point!")
After the last
few seven years, I feel good for Sacramento Kings basketball that the front office is being refreshed. But I will be sad to see Petrie go. He's been synonymous with the team for two decades. That's a big piece of the Sacramento Kings walking through the exit.