I know it may seem hard to believe at times, but the Sacramento Kings used to be quite good at basketball. From about 1998-2006 the Kings were not only one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, but they were also the best example of how a small market team with no real history of success could breakthrough.
Sacramento's run of success hit a wall after Rick Adelman was fired following the Kings' first round playoff exit vs. the Spurs in 2006. The Kings have gone a collective 403-711 since, and failed to reach the playoffs in 13 (likely going on 14) years. They have the longest playoff drought in the NBA.
What makes the circumstances in Sacramento particularly interesting is that despite the significant passing of time, a lot of the people involved with the organizations highest levels of success are also directly responsible for their most significant failures. As a fan, it's an odd dynamic, but that familiarity is what made going back and rewatching The Sacramento Kings: Backstage with Ahmad Rashad kind of cathartic.
It reminded me why I loved that team, but also highlighted why the last decade has been so frustrating. We can talk about that later.
Here is The Sacramento Kings: Backstage with Ahmad Rashad in its entirety:
There is so much good stuff in here, but the Vlade Divac segment really stands out to me in part because my frustrations with him as a general manager allowed me to forget how appreciative I was of him as a player. I don't know exactly how to reconcile with this.
Divac's shortcomings as an executive have held this organization back and will likely continue to do so until he either miraculously starts making the right decisions, or a change is made. At the same time, his contributions to the organization are deeply responsible for its only success, and the personal relationship people feel towards him is legitimately conflicting.
There is little doubt that certain sections of the fan base and local media have given him a pass on certain things because he's Vlade. He's one of ours. The Sacramento Kings: Backstage with Ahmad Rashad is an excellent example why.
Anyway, it's a good watch, and I wish Vlade Divac was a better general manager, because as a basketball player you couldn't ask for more.