Recently fired Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac admitted he made his fair share of mistakes during a five-year reign that resulted in little more than a continued playoff drought.
Perhaps the most glaring error -- selecting Kings big man Marvin Bagley III with the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, one spot ahead of Dallas Mavericks franchise-changer Luka Doncic.
“That was my decision,” Divac told Marcus Breton of the Sacramento Bee. “I still believe Marvin has big upside. But I needed more time to prove it. I’m sure Marvin is going to prove everybody wrong. But in this league, you need to produce right now. People don’t have patience but I’m OK with that.”
Divac admitted passing on Doncic created some strain in his relationship with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.
Divac also chose Luke Walton as coach over Monty Williams last summer. Nothing wrong with that, though it looks bad after the Kings failed to make the playoffs for a 14th consecutive season -- and Williams coached the Phoenix Suns to an 8-0 record inside the Orlando bubble.
No matter, Divac stands by the decision.
“Luke will be a great coach,” Divac told Breton. “If they give him a chance, he’ll be just fine.”
Other than that, Divac said he'll remain in Sacramento until another opportunity comes along and understands that being dismissed is part of the job.
“It’s a part of life. You have to make tough decisions,” Divac said.
“I didn’t expect (to be fired) but then I wasn’t surprised either. We didn’t accomplish what we expected this season. That’s the bottom line...That’s my responsibility.”
Former NBA guard and ex-Pistons GM Joe Dumars will now run the Kings on an interim basis.