The Sacramento Kings are broken. Coming off their best season in a decade the Kings managed to destroy all fan goodwill in a matter of four months. It’s actually impressive in its own dysfunctional way.
A 39-win season gave Vlade Divac a reprieve from his own 2-year deadline for improvement, and he was then rewarded with a four-year extension. A 39-win season was not, however, worthy of extending Dave Joerger. Joerger was fired and replaced by Vlade’s friend and only candidate Luke Walton. Walton has been an abject disaster, and fans are calling for accountability.
Normally in a season that’s gone this off-the-rails, the obvious solution would be to fire the coach and begin a new search. But Walton just received a four-year contract that ownership would be forced to eat. Worse still, that simply puts a coaching search back in the hands of Vlade Divac. Do you have any faith that he’d find the right coach?
So perhaps the Kings should fire Vlade Divac, right? Hire a new GM and let that GM determine what’s next for the coach and roster. Except you’re putting the GM search in the hands of Vivek Ranadivé, who has chosen Pete D’Alessandro and Vlade Divac in his two attempts to find a GM. Do you have any faith that he’d find the right GM?
Which brings us to Ranadivé. From what’s been publicly reported about the Kings ownership structure, Ranadivé is hard to remove as lead owner barring some truly disastrous mismanagement of the franchise. This seems like an unlikely path, and there’s no guarantee the next lead owner would be any different. I don’t think we’re at the point where Ranadivé should be removed. He’s been willing to spend, and clearly wants this team to succeed. He may not be a successful owner but he’s certainly not the worst NBA owner. But I still don’t know that he’d be able to hire a the right GM to fix this team.
The point is simply this — the Kings are past the point of easy fixes. Whatever happens next, no matter who may or may not be fired, Kings fans have little reason to expect things to turn around anytime soon.