In 2013, the Maloof family sold the Sacramento Kings to an ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive for $534 million — almost $100 million more than Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber paid for the Golden State Warriors in 2010.
At the time, the Kings hadn’t made the playoffs in seven years. Since then, that number has grown to 14 years, which isn’t just a franchise record; it’s the longest active playoff drought in the NBA.
It should come as no surprise then that Ranadive was reportedly one loudest voices in the room when the NBA and its Board of Governors started mulling ways to restart the season. Here’s what Jason Jones and David Aldridge of The Athletic had to say about Ranadive in the latest episode of “Hoops, Adjacent”:
Jason Jones: They love it: everyone I’ve talked to, every player i’ve talked to, front office person I’ve spoken to. They just want a chance when you've missed the playoffs 13 straight years.
David Aldridge: I had heard that Ranadive — Vivek Ranadive, the owner — was one of the main, strongest proponents for restarting the season. There was some for the teams. The lower revenue teams — like Milwaukee is another one that’s having a great season, but still a lower revenue team — really were pushing behind the scenes to get the season started back up again.
The Kings, with a 28-36 record, have as good of a shot of competing for the No. 8 seed (or the play-in spot) as any of the other five “non-playoff” teams from the Western Conference making the trip to Orlando. While the four-month break in the middle of the season might make clinching a playoff spot less exciting for any other team, a four-month wait is a-whole-lot better than a 14-year wait for the Kings and their fans.
I’m sure Harrison Barnes’ itchy face feels the same way.