The Sacramento Kings made history, albeit in one of the worst possible ways. They are now the team with the longest playoff drought in NBA history. If they want to end years of futility, change must happen from the top.
Ending the playoff drought
Kings fans have been very patient. They have not made the postseason for 16 years straight. The last time they made the playoffs, they had Bonzi Wells, Mike Bibby, Kevin Martin, and Metta World Peace on the roster under head coach Rick Adelman. It's more than obvious majority owner Vivek Ranadive needs to let someone else make important decisions, but as always, there's a but.
Saying this is easier said than done. First, he has to agree for someone to take over or buy the franchise. Second, if he isn’t willing to do that, Ranadive should hire people to run the organization the right way. Owners must be part of running a professional team, but the problem with Ranadive and the Sacramento Kings is he might be too involved in the process.
An unnamed former member of the team’s basketball operations revealed Ranadive’s involvement in team decisions.
“It’s one thing to be a fan and want to be involved from afar, but I think when you are meddling in decisions, I think the problem is you have an owner who’s too involved. People are not treated well. They’re not valued. It’s a toxic workplace where there are some super-talented people who either move on or get let go for different reasons. It’s unfortunate because I think people come with really pure intentions and want to turn it around.”
unnamed former member of the Kings' basketball operations, The Sacramento Bee
Since Vivek took over in 2013, there have been numerous coaching, player, and personnel changes. Ranadive was even named the worst owner in the NBA, according to a poll in 2022. An unnamed executive claimed Ranadive was bad at hiring people and would not let them do their job. In the end, success has been tough to achieve for the Kings; in reality, they all have no one to blame but themselves.
Poor insights and decision making
Luka Doncic was still available, but Sacramento chose Marvin Bagley III. The idea to get him was approved by Ranadive. The Kings also had a chance to sign Jordan Clarkson in exchange for Yogi Ferrel, but the front office was too slow to jump on the gun.
Here’s the list of players available for the Kings on the Draft Night: Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, and C.J. McCollum. However, none of them played for the team, and it has been a disaster for them ever since.
Instability was also a major factor. Harrison Barnes and DeAaron Fox were the only two remaining team members when Barnes arrived four years ago. Jerry Reynolds, who was with the Kings for 35 years, added that stability from the front office or coaching was missing in Sacramento. Former coach Michael Malone echoed the same sentiments. He was on his way to bringing the Kings back to relevance but was fired after two seasons.
The problems of the Sacramento Kings run deeper, and it should take time to address them. Changes must be made starting from Vivek Ranadive. It’s time to let the experts run the team. The fans have suffered long enough.