Kings general manager Vlade Divac held a conference call with the team’s ownership group, and told them to stop meddling.
As the Kings near tipoff against Portland, another peek behind the purple curtain: Source tells me GM Vlade Divac held a conference call today in which he pushed back hard on minority owners who he believes are meddling. Details of the call at @TheAthletic https://t.co/QzhqNXYcbw
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 15, 2019
Divac confirmed the story, telling a reporter that he simply laid out his plan.
Sacramento (23-21) is unexpectedly in contention to reach the postseason for the first time since 2006 (the longest drought in the NBA.)
I asked Vlade Divac about The Athletic story tonight regarding his conference call with minority owners. “I just told them about my plan,” he said. The story says you told them to stop meddling and leaking stories. “Yeah, that’s my plan,” he said.
— Jason Anderson (@JandersonSacBee) January 15, 2019
Per The Athletic:
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 [Vivek] 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.
In some ways, this was classic Divac from his playing days in Sacramento – always the locker room unifier, and never shy to speak up when he sees fit. Still, with the rift between [head coach Dave] Joerger and assistant general manager Brandon Williams that began in mid-November setting such a contentious tone at the start of this season, it’s quite clear that relationship residue remains. Divac’s decision on the assistant coaches that was supposed to be seen as such a positive was the latest example of that much.
According to sources, some of the team’s assistant coaches were displeased with the fact that Divac had the contractual paperwork sent their way via Williams, who has been accused of being a source for a mid-November Yahoo! Sports story about Joerger’s job security. The divide between Joerger and Williams has never been bridged, with Williams traveling extensively (and intentionally) in the weeks that followed Joerger kicking him out of a late November shoot-around as a way of relieving tensions that remain. Even now, Joerger has made it clear that he wants Williams to stay out of his space and has let his voice be heard when his wishes aren’t respected. As such, the preference among some of the assistants was that Divac would have kept Williams out of the paperwork process.