Vlade Divac steps down as Kings GM; Joe Dumars takes interim role


The Vlade Divac era of Kings basketball has come to an end.

After leaving the NBA's Orlando bubble and returning to Sacramento without a playoff berth, Divac officially stepped down from his position as the Kings' general manager, the team announced Friday.

Sam Amick of The Athletic broke the news minutes before the official press release.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the General Manager for the Kings,” Divac said in a team-issued statement. “I want to thank Vivek [Ranadivé, the Kings' owner] for the opportunity and recognize all of the incredible colleagues who I had the great pleasure of working with during my tenure. Sacramento and the Kings will always hold a special place in my heart and I wish them all the best moving forward.”
With Divac out of the picture, Joe Dumars, who has been an advisor over the last year, will assume an interim role as the executive vice president of basketball operations and handle GM duties.

“Joe has become a trusted and valued advisor since joining the team last year, and I am grateful to have him take on this role at an important time for the franchise,” Ranadivé said in the team-issued statement.

Dumars also will aid in the search for a new, permanent GM.

Potentially the most crucial line in the team’s press release comes near the bottom of the page.

“No further personnel decisions will be made until a new General Manager is in place,” it says.

[RELATED: Kings facing major decisions heading into offseason]

The team plans to go through the draft and free-agent process before making a final decision on assistant GMs Peja Stojakovic and Ken Catanella, but a league source confirmed that coach Luke Walton's job is safe for the 2020-21 season.

Divac, 52, is a Sacramento legend, having played six seasons with the Kings from 1998 to 2004 as the starting center on the franchise's best teams. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player last year, and his No. 21 has been retired by the Kings. 

Divac took over as the Kings' GM in 2015, but he couldn't end the franchise's now-14-year playoff drought, with his teams posting 33-49, 32-50, 27-55, 39-43 and 31-41 records under three different coaches -- George Karl, Dave Joerger and Walton. Last year, Divac signed a contract extension through the 2022-23 season, but he lasted only one year on that deal.

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