Divac steps down as Kings GM after poor season

(Reuters) - Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac has stepped down after the NBA franchise failed to reach the 2019/2020 season’s playoffs, the club said on its official website (

The 52-year old Serb, who was the Kings GM since 2015 and signed a four-year contract extension in April 2019, played for the Kings 1998-2004 in the final stages of a 15-year NBA career that included two stints with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings, who finished with a 31-41 regular season record, named Joe Dumars, the club’s executive vice-president of basketball operations and a former double NBA champion with the Detroit Pistons, as Divac’s replacement.

“This was a difficult decision, but we believe it is the best path ahead as we work to build a winning team that our loyal fans deserve,” Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadivé said in a statement released on Friday.

“We are thankful for Vlade’s leadership, commitment and hard work both on and off the court. He will always be a part of our Kings family.

“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.”

Divac, who won two World Cups, three European titles and the 1996 Olympic silver medal with the former Yugoslavia, wished the Kings the best of luck in their future endeavours.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the General Manager for the Kings,” said Divac.

“I want to thank Vivek for the opportunity and recognize all 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.”

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Shri Navaratnam