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Vlade Divac wants ownership to let him do his job

Vlade has a point

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Kimani Okearah

Rule number one of the Sacramento Kings is that there will always be drama with the Sacramento Kings. Despite their best season since 2005-2006, the Kings have still had their share of drama in the media, most notably the ongoing strife between Dave Joerger and assistant GM Brandon Williams. Last night, a mere 30 minutes before tipoff against the Portland Trail Blazers, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that Vlade Divac held a conference call with Kings minority owners to tell them to stop meddling.

Yet still, four years into this job that comes with one of the league’s trickiest landscapes at the ownership level, Divac kept hearing rumblings of discontent from the same group of minority owners who just three years ago had explored ways to wrestle control away from lead owner and chairman, Vivek Ranadive. With his Kings backdrop so much different than before, and with Divac clearly fed up with the internal complaints, he decided to send a strong message on Monday.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Divac held a conference call with 13 members of the team’s executive board, along with Ranadive, and made this much clear: Stop with the meddling, bring an end to the alleged leaks in the media about internal matters, try enjoying the ride while it’s going so well and – cue Michael Jackson, circa 1987 – leave him alone as he tries to continue this turnaround. This was Divac, so roundly ridiculed as a front office executive for so long now, demanding respect.

And as if that wasn’t enough, The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Anderson got a marvelous follow up quote from Vlade after the game.

And you know what? Vlade has a point. The Kings are good. The Kings are fun. This isn’t to say everything is perfect or that everyone should be taking a victory lap. The Kings aren’t a title contender yet. They may not even be a playoff team this season thanks to the slaughterhouse that is the Western Conference. But this is not the time for meddling.

Vlade Divac’s tenure as GM hasn’t been perfect. There have been major mistakes along the way. But the Kings are playing better and Vlade deserves credit just as much as he deserved blame when things looked so bleak. Is Vlade the GM that can take the Kings to a championship? I don’t know. But I know that this isn’t the time to shake things up.

The Kings ownership structure is messy, to put it nicely. It’s going to remain a mess for the foreseeable future. It’s telling that immediately after the conference call someone involved leaked information about it. I’m going to say it again because the absurdity is so very Kangz. Vlade told ownership to stop meddling and stop leaking to the media. Someone on that call then leaked it to the media. Incredible.

Many Kings fans have enjoyed this season while still waiting for the other shoe to drop. This story isn’t the other shoe dropping. No disaster has happened here. It’s just another reminder that the other shoe is still hanging over our heads, waiting to drop. Hopefully ownership can hold off on ruining our fun a little longer.