Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive has been uncharacteristically quiet throughout training camp and the preseason. You could probably argue that he started approaching his role as Kings owner from a more behind-the-scenes position since Michael Malone was fired last season, and even more so when Vlade Divac was brought in and given complete control over basketball operations.
Ranadive broke his silence via the pre-recorded first episode of the Kings’ new video series, Inside the Kingdom. It’s a fascinating watch for more reasons than one, but Ranadive’s quote to close out the first episode certainly stole the show.
Vivek Ranadive, Via Inside the Kingdom -
All the negative reports and the stories out there, the owner is stupid, he is a meddler. The GM, he is a Serb, he’s never done this, what does he know? The big guy. he’s trouble. People have used words like toxic in describing him. Rudy, no team with him ever wins. Rondo, he blew up and he’s all washed up. Ben, he’s overrated, is he ever going to make it? Willie, he doesn’t try that hard. Coach, he was fired from his last job and he shouldn’t be in the NBA. Blah, blah, blah. You guys have done us a favor, because they’re actually drawing the team even closer together. It is an ‘us against the world’ mentality that you see out there right now. These guys want to prove everybody wrong, and they want to show what they can do.
In case you had any doubts about how aware the Sacramento Kings are of what’s being said about them, there you go.
It’s an inspiring quote, although it does add a certain amount of pressure to a season where the pressure is already very high. What if the Kings do implode? Does that make all of these players exactly what Vivek thinks others perceive them to be?
As fan of the team, I loved the video. I loved what Vivek said, I understand the point he’s trying to make, and I hope the Kings can walk what Ranadive talks.
As someone trying to look at the situation objectively, that is some strange promotional material! Ranadive was dead honest in a refreshing ‘you don’t see that everyday’ kind of way, but I could make an argument that maybe the Kings should keep a lower profile and just play basketball right now. Ranadive has had some quotes come back to bite him in the past, but this one would take the cake if something goes wrong. I'll be over here crossing my fingers and knocking on wood until game 82 so that doesn’t happen.
I can flip back and fourth on this ten thousand times, if I’m being honest. I like the fire, I like the enthusiasm, I like the excitement, but I also appreciate DeMarcus Cousins’ even-keeled approach.
The Sacramento Kings are running with the us against the world, nobody believes in us, suicide squad theme this year from ownership on down, and I actually think finding that sort of singular motivation for a team is important. The Golden State Warriors had to manufacture a theme for their season when they started talking about how everyone thought they were gifted an NBA Championship because of how decimated with injuries all of their opponents were. The Spurs often run with a 'everyone thinks we're too old' theme, etc.
Finding a rallying theme is not a novel concept, although I'd say the 'everyone thinks we're going to kill each other, lets show them we won't kill each other!' theme is slightly more dangerous than the route other teams have gone, but it's a real emotion surrounding the Kings right now. It's not manufactured, and while it might sound silly outside of Sacramento, it's real. You can feel it.