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Are the Kings better without Chris Mullin?

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Chris Mullin is gone, to the relief of many Kings fans, but is the organization actually better off without him?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

As Chris Mullin departs the Sacramento Kings organization, many Kings fans are filled with a sense of relief. Mullin has long been pointed to as the likely source of whatever is wrong with the Kings, even if it was impossible to know for sure what influence he actually held within the organization. But there's also reason for concern. Mullin, for whatever faults he has, is still a fairly well respected name in basketball circles. So the question now is whether the Kings are actually better with Mullin gone.

The difficulty with assessing Mullin's importance to the organization is precisely that his role was so undefined. Officially, Mullin served as Advisor To The Chairman. We don't know what that role is, specifically because it's not a role that most team's have. Sactown Royalty editor emeritus Tom Ziller recently likened Mullin's role to the advisor role Jerry West has held for the Golden State Warriors. We know Mullin had Vivek Ranadivé's ear, but it was never made public just how final his authority and opinions were. Could Mullin overrule GM Pete D'Alessandro? If not, could he do it by whispering his opinion to Vivek, leading Vivek to overrule Pete? Or was Mullin working in tandem with Pete, towards a vision the two of them shared?

We have no idea. And that was the problem.

With Mullin in play, it was impossible to judge the moves of Pete D'Alessandro as a GM. Sure, Pete publicly accepts blames for the mistakes, but he's the first to tell you that he should get the blame because that's his job. But was he really the one making moves? Removing Mullin could result in a situation where Pete is allowed to do his job the way he sees fit. Or we may have simply removed one of several layers.

The Kings still have a lot of cooks in the kitchen. Pete, Vivek, Vlade Divac, Mike Bratz, Dean Oliver, Mitch Richmond, other owners, and even George Karl. All of these are people who, to some extent, have a voice in the team's decision making. Perhaps Mullin was one instigator too many, or maybe he was the unifying voice in the room. Personally, I don't think Mullin was the glue, and I believe Vlade will be, but that's speculation. Mullin being gone might make the Kings' front office better, but the organization still has many of the same issues it had yesterday.

But enough of what I think. Vote in the poll, discuss in the comments. What do you say?