SACRAMENTO, Calif. – His jersey will always hang in the rafters at Golden 1 Center as a symbol of his storied playing career in Sacramento, but Vlade Divac will no longer hold his post as the team's general manager.
Divac, 52, stepped down Friday after five tumultuous seasons as the team's general manager and vice president of basketball operations. Joe Dumars, who joined the organization as an advisor last summer, will serve as interim general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.
Sources told The Sacramento Bee discussions about parting ways with Divac intensified as the Kings concluded their season with a 31-41 record, the franchise's 14th consecutive losing season. One line of thinking within the organization was that the team had no choice but to stay the course after a season plagued by injuries and enormous financial losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Others felt a change was necessary.
"This was a difficult decision, but we believe it is the best path ahead as we work to build a winning team that our loyal fans deserve," Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said in a news release. "We are thankful for Vlade's leadership, commitment and hard work both on and off the court. He will always be a part of our Kings family."
A respected league executive said earlier Friday that Divac sealed his fate with a series of bad decisions over the past five years, pointing specifically to the decision pass on Luke Doncic in the 2018 NBA draft.
"When you pass on generational players, you can't win in this league," he said. "You just can't."
The source predicted Dumars would take on a larger role within the organization, saying "that would help, but they need to get somebody younger in there."
The team said it will work with Dumars to establish a "long-term strategy for the organization's basketball operations structure," including a search for a permanent general manager. The team said no further personnel decisions will be made until a new general manager is in place.
Dumars, 57, was a six-time All-Star with two-time NBA champion with the Detroit Pistons. He served as the team's president of basketball operations from 2000-14 and was named Executive of the Year in 2002-03 while constructing a team that would win the NBA championship in 2004.
Dumars joined the Kings organization as a special advisor to the general manager in June 2019. He has more than 30 years of NBA experience as a player and front office executive and an extensive executive business background. The organization believes Dumars will provide stability through the draft, which will be held Oct. 16, and free agency, which will begin Oct. 18.
"Joe has become a trusted and valued advisor since joining the team last year, and I am grateful to have him take on this role at an important time for the franchise," Ranadive said.
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