The Sacramento Kings have hired Mike Forde of Sportsology to help conduct its search for a new general manager, according to Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources tell @ShamsCharania and I the Kings are expected to retain Mike Forde of the Sportsology search firm for their forthcoming national GM search.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) August 19, 2020
While Forde's direct decision-making in the Kings recruiting process is unclear, he is widely considered a “sports science expert” and one the NBA’s top head hunters for general manager openings. Forde has extensive experience in talent management and building high-performing cultures in a variety of sports industries, including professional soccer, NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball and the NBA.
From 1999 to 2007 the Bolton Wanderers Football Club employed him as its Performance Director. From there, he served as the Chelsea Football Club Director of Operations & Executive Club Director up until 2013. During his time with Chelsea Football Club, the organization won a series of league championships.
Forde has made quite a name for himself among NBA circles over the last decade. He advised the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 to help build out a model build of sustainable success and performance as the Spurs were analyzing how to continue and maintain their incredible run in the years after the team’s core left. In 2016, the Brooklyn Nets used Forde for its general manger search and he helped them land Sean Marks. The Nets, of course, now have a roster with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. None of those players are currently playing due to injury and COVID-19 (Jordan), but the Nets still finished 7th in the Eastern Conference this season and are competing in the bubble playoffs.
In 2019, the Washington Wizards hired Forde to assist in its culture reset as part of its general manger search. The Wizards promoted Tommy Sheppard as the general manager and Rod Thorn as the Sr. Advisor to the General Manager. That same year, The New Orleans Pelicans, at the recommendation of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, hired Forde to lead its general manager search. The Pelicans hired David Griffin as the executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and Trajan Langdon as the general manager in that year.
He’s also consulted for the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers.
According to its website, Sportsology played a key role in building the Los Angeles Clippers culture and identity in 2017. That same year, the company helped analyze the player development methods and medical department of the San Francisco 49ers.
Interim Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Kings Joe Dumars will be supporting Forde’s efforts in the search for the Kings. He told Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee what his role in the search for a new general manager would be:
“My role as interim Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations is to immediately assume General Manager duties during this transition period and assist Vivek in developing a long-term strategy for the basketball operations department,” Dumars said in a written statement provided to The Bee. “As part of that process, I will support a thorough national search for a permanent General Manager over the coming months. The search will be run by an outside firm and Vivek will have the final decision making authority.”
Amick shed more light on the incorporation of Dumars both in the short-term and long-term, by reporting that the new GM won’t report to Dumars, but to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. Going further, he reports that Dumars is not interested in being the long-term lead of basketball operations for the Kings.
It is good to see that the Kings appear to be conducting an extensive search for a new general manager. It also is encouraging that Forde has experience in building positive cultures within professional sports franchises. Maybe the Kings could be leaning on him for guidance there as well?
It couldn’t hurt.