It’s been 16 years since the Kings made the playoffs and a source who spoke to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee said the issues start with team owner Vivek Ranadive, while alleging a “toxic” work environment.
“I’ve been on conference calls with him around the trade deadline. I think, like any successful business or organization, a lot of this stuff starts at the top,” a former member of the Kings’ basketball operations staff told Anderson.
“In an ideal situation, you hire someone you feel is qualified. You do your homework on them and then you trust that person is capable of doing the job. 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.”
The Kings are parting ways with interim man Alvin Gentry as coach, perhaps shifting him to the front office. Gentry replaced Luke Walton, who was fired in November.
This is nothing new in Sacramento. As Anderson relayed, the Kings have been a revolving door of coaches, general managers and players during Ranadive’s reign.
“People are not treated well,” the source told Anderson. “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.”
The source went on to describe the Kings’ environment as “toxic” under Ranadive, telling Anderson that those within the organization “don’t trust each other.” He added that the Kings aren’t even operating in basketball purgatory. “Basketball hell,” the source told Anderson.
The Kings finished 30-52 and are returning to the draft lottery. On the bright side, it appears the GM Monte McNair is getting the freedom to make the key decisions on his own. McNair was hired prior to the start of the 2020-21 season.
“I’ve looked people in the eye and said, ‘We know this has been a problem. Is it a problem today?’ They’re telling me it’s not,” a Kings minority owner told Anderson. “Does Vivek have the right to approve trades or give his input? Yeah, but I don’t believe Vivek is micromanaging Monte. I believe Monte is in charge and has total control.”