With the addition of new Sacramento Kings President Chris Granger, the future of the Kings might still be on shaky ground, but at least the concrete is starting to set. Granger, a 14-year NBA executive and driving force behind the Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO), is already familiar with the town’s economy having been dispatched by the league back in 2011. With Granger’s help, the Kings are already the head cheeses when it comes to new full-season ticket sales for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
New Kings majority owner, Vivek Ranadive, has brought Granger in to lead the executive team that also includes president of business operations, Matina Kolokotronis, and chief financial officer, John Rinehart. In addition, general manager Pete D’Alessandro is assigned to player personnel issues.
The addition of Granger follows the coaching staff hires revealed Tuesday at the first Summer League practice at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The new director of player development and assistant coach is former NBA player Dee Brown, who was with the Detroit Pistons organization the past two years. Brown was with the NBA Development League Springfield Armor from 2009-2011 as head coach and director of basketball operations, and also head coach in Orlando and San Antonio with the WNBA in 2002 and 2004, respectively. However, Brown is probably best remembered for the “no-look” dunk to win the 1991 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.
Another assistant coach revealed is Micah Nori. Nori has been with the Toronto Raptors for the past seventeen years, with the last four as an assistant coach, and also oversaw the scouting department. His personal accolades include captain of the 1996 Big Ten Conference championship baseball team from Indiana, where he was a starter for four years.
Lastly, Bill Pope was announced as the advance scout for the team. Pope held a similar position in the Pistons organization for the past eight seasons, after joining in 2004 as assistant coach and video coordinator. He also has fifteen years of experience as a Division II college coach, and in 2001 he led the Lincoln Blue Tigers to the Heartland Conference Championship.
Add to this first year (with the Kings), head coach Mike Malone, who led the Warriors to a playoff jaunt last year, brings twelve years of experience and a history of creating defensive-minded teams like the “most improved defense” 2011 New Orleans Hornets.
Also add lead assistant coach Chris Jent. Jent helped lead the Ohio State Buckeyes, his alma mater, to the Final Four in 2012, where he had been an assistant since 2011. After the Orlando Magic’s head coach Johnny Davis was let go in 2005, Jent took over and coached the final eighteen games. He was promoted to assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers after holding the position of director of player development from 2006 to 2009.
Assistant coach Brendan Malone (Michael Malone’s father) has twenty-seven years of NBA experience, including being the first head coach of the Toronto Raptors, and also as an assistant to Chuck Daly on two championship teams in Detroit.
This is the second time a father-son team will work together with one of them at the head coaching position, although they also worked as assistants on the same staff for the New York Knicks in the 2003-2004 season.
Could it be that the Kings have the right non-player personnel to actually turn this franchise around? Only time will tell.