The Athletics’ Sam Amick and Shams Charania broke the news on Wednesday, and the Sacramento Kings made it official on Thursday morning: Monte McNair is the new general manager of the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings detailed McNair’s new role with the organization, including quotes from both McNair and Ranadive in the press release:
The Sacramento Kings announced today that the team has hired Monte McNair as General Manager. In this role, McNair will be responsible for all decisions made in the Kings basketball operations department and serve as the team’s top basketball executive reporting to the owner and chairman. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Monte is one of the NBA’s top basketball minds who has played an instrumental role in building several winning teams in Houston, said Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadive. I am excited to bring his extensive experience and vision onboard to lead our basketball operations department, and it is my pleasure to welcome Monte and his family to Sacramento.
I am thrilled to join the Kings organization and honored to shape the franchise’s bright future for the team’s loyal fans, said McNair. I would like to thank Vivek for this opportunity and look forward to becoming a part of the Sacramento community.
The good news is that the King spelled out McNair’s role clearly: He will operate as the head of basketball operations.
The concerning second shoe to drop after the McNair announcement was the proceeding revelation that Joe Dumars is staying with the Kings in a new long-term role. Dumars will act as the Kings’ Chief Strategy Officer. The Kings also described his role in greater detail via a press release Thursday morning:
The Sacramento Kings announced today that Joe Dumars has been named Chief Strategy Officer. In this new role, he will continue to report to the owner and chairman, and help drive strategy across the organization’s entire portfolio of activities, including business, basketball, new ventures, entertainment and real estate. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The big detail to note in Dumars’ new position is that he will be reporting to Vivek Ranadive, and not Monte McNair. If Dumars’ role was purely business (it’s at least partly business) this would be less of a concern, but his job description states that he will “help drive strategy across the organization’s entire portfolio” that includes basketball, and if he’s reporting to Ranadive instead of McNair, it’s easy to see where this can go wrong considering Vivek’s history of advisor meddling.
Dumars’ new role also raises questions about the process that landed McNair in Sacramento. Several candidates dropped out well before the decision was made, and we already know that there was confusion about how much power Dumars would have long-term throughout the hiring process. Did his involvement scare candidates away? According to Sam Amick speaking with Carmichael Dave this morning, the answer is yes.
Amick: “There were (GM) candidates that, when they heard Joe Dumars was involved in the process, said ‘no thank you’…….”
— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) September 17, 2020
I expect we’ll continue to learn new details about the process, why candidates dropped out, and how much power Dumars and McNair will have in the coming days. For now, the Kings have hired new, experienced basketball ops leadership in Monte McNair, and that’s a great development. Hopefully everyone else stays out of his way.