A few days ago, Tim McMahon mentioned that one of the reasons why Vlade Divac didn’t draft Luka Dončić to the Kings was because he didn’t like Luka’s father and used the old “like father, like son.” Luka’s father, Saša, laughed it off and compared ESPN’s professionalism level to that of tabloids.
Soon after the story broke Grant
To make things perfectly clear, Luka’s father responded to the story and debunked the entire idea. He confirmed Vlade called him before the draft and explained the Kings already have solutions at the guard positions and that he will address a need at the forward spot by going with Bagley. Then Saša Dončić commented on ESPN’s reporting (via SIOL.net):
“I am surprised by the lack of professionalism of the media and the tendency for gossip. Even with ESPN, which is an established sports media house, I would expect different behavior. It is irresponsible that journalists of such an establishment, which is very respected, so quickly succumb to whispers.”
Dončić senior also confirmed that he and Divac laughed at the story. Divac to the idea something like that would influence his decision, and Luka’s father at the fact people think he as such influence in these matters.
Given Luka’s performances and projections before the draft, not picking him regardless of who you have on your roster was a mistake. But at least we know Divac did use acceptable basketball reasoning.