Vivek Ranadive‘s reign of terror over the Sacramento Kings the past few years has been truly something to behold. It’s been a string of botched hirings and firings, well-documented draft-day missteps, and his hilariously-absurd notion that the professional NBA basketball team he owns should try to implement some version of a 4-on-5, hockey-esque defense. He almost makes you long for the Maloofs (almost).
He’s mostly deflected any criticism about his stewardship of the franchise, and in a recent interview with USA Today, blamed some of the organizational woes on Geoff Petrie, the Kings’ former general manager and two-time Executive of the Year winner during the Kings’ glory days in the early aughts. Among other things, he accused Petrie and his staff of being both mentally and physically checked out during the initial transition period when Ranadive assumed ownership from the Maloofs.
Petrie quickly fired back against those charges, calling them “totally untrue” and itemizing the many ways his team helped the organization prepare for the 2013 draft, despite the knowledge that they would likely be dismissed once the transition was complete, which is precisely what happened. In a rather rare moment of contrition, Ranadive has since offered an apology for his comments. Via Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:
“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.”
It’s a place to start, but the Kings have a long way to go to clean up the rubble of the past few years. Things aren’t looking particularly good in the season ahead, and it could result in them being forced to start over completely if they lose franchise star DeMarcus Cousins because of it.
(Via The Sacramento Bee)