Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive has issued what most are calling an ‘apology’ for his derogatory remarks targeted at Geoff Petrie and the old Kings staff during an interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick last week.
Vivek Ranadive, via The Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voison -
I wanted to sincerely apologize to Geoff Petrie and his team,” the owner began, speaking softly. “I meant no disrespect. I have the utmost respect for what they have done for the franchise and what they have accomplished. I fully understand that it’s a huge privilege to own a basketball team, and as chairman of the ownership, the buck stops with me. I accept responsibility for everything. All the mistakes are my mistakes.
Just for clarity, this is essentially what Vivek Ranadive is apologizing for.
Vivek Ranadive, via Sam Amick, USA Today -
Look, you’ve got to hire the GM and then the coach. But I also went to some – and I don’t want to name them – but I went to some very smart people for advice, and they said, ‘Hey, Malone is great. We like Malone.’ Sam, that practice facility was empty. I had the draft was going to start, and players were going to come in for tryouts. There was nobody there. I needed somebody to go and actually work out the players. Nobody wanted to there. (incumbent general manager) Geoff (Petrie) didn’t want to be there. The coach (Keith Smart) didn’t want to be there. There was nobody there.
And finally, because this has been an exhaustive game of ‘he said, she said’ here was Geoff Petrie’s response to Vivek Ranadive’s original comments, and what ultimately prompted Vivek’s apology above.
Geoff Petrie, via Deadspin -
A lot of what he said doesn’t really ... if you look back on the three-and-a-half years that he’s been the managing owner, it doesn’t really fit with a lot of the history. The main reason I reached out, [the interview] is long and covered a lot of territory, but when it comes to some of the representations about myself and Keith Smart and the management group that was there at that time, it was basically totally untrue, what was represented there.
Ok, now that we’re all caught up, how about that apology?
You can tell me if I’m nitpicking, but that left a lot to be desired. If Vivek really thought it was entirely his fault like his most recent apology states, how come he threw everyone under the bus in the first place? It screams ‘this is what everyone wants me to say so i’ll say it’ without a whole lot of conviction or believability.
Secondly, he didn’t really apologize for the accusations he lofted in Petrie’s direction. He never admitted that he was wrong about those accusations. It didn’t really clear Petrie’s name in that regard, but again, maybe I’m off.
In Vivek’s defense, Petrie did come at him pretty hard in the Deadspin article. I’m sure Vivek didn’t appreciate being called a ‘very arrogant and dismissive little chap’ and I think he’s entitled to feel that way. Any apology here does show some self control despite my wish that it would have been a little more thoughtful and addressed his specific accusation of ‘not wanting to be there’, but at least he didn’t dig the Kings a deeper hole.
However you feel about Ranadive’s apology, the universal hope is that all of this goes away without bleeding into the regular season. I think we’d all like to move on.