NBA Roundup: GM Divac steps down from Kings throne; Bulls fire coach; Kobe induction set

Published August 15, 2020, 5:23 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Kings GM Divac steps down
Vlade Divac
Vlade Divac (Photo by Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac has stepped down from his post after the team’s disastrous showing at the bubble in Orlando.

Divac was replaced by Joe Dumars, a Detroit Pistons great, as GM on an interim basis. Dumas has been working as a consultant for the team.

Kings coach Luke Walton is safe in his job for now.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as General Manager for the Kings,” Divac said in a statement.

“I want to thank Vivek (Ranadive, Kings owner and chairman) for the opportunity and recognize all of the incredible colleagues who I had the great pleasure of working with during my tenure. Sacramento and the Kings will always hold a special place in my heart and I wish them all the best moving forward.”

Divac stepped down three-and-a-half years since he vowed to give up his post if the Kings were not better by 2019.

Ranadive said the decision to let go of Divac was a difficult decision but he believes that it is the best path ahead as they work to build a winning team that out loyal fans deserve.

He did get some love from Ranadive. “We are thankful for Vlade’s leadership, commitment, and hard work both on and off the court. He will always be a part of the Kings family,” Ranadive said.

Divac played and manned the slot for six seasons for the Kings from 1998 to 2004. He is a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame awardee last year and his jersey No. 21 was retired by the Kings.

Among his notable teammates were Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby, and Jason Williams.

Divac, who became the Kings GM in 2015, ended his tenure with the team without a playoff appearance. The team based in California’s capital has not been to the playoffs in 14 years.

Bulls fire Boylen after dismal seasons
jim boylen
Jim Boylen (AFP Photo / JONATHAN DANIEL)

Also let go was Chicago Bulls taskmaster Jim Boylen.

Boylen was fired after just two seasons at the helm.

Bulls management cited fresh approach and evolution in leadership for the change.

A formal coaching search will commence immediately, team executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said.

Boylen was an associate head coach for the Bulls before he was promoted to replace Fred Hoiberg in the 2018-2019 season.

Boylen ended his tenure with the Bulls with a 39-84 record. It was reported that Boylen had been on the hot seat for months and players had negative feedback about him to the management.

Chicago was not invited to the bubble in Orlando and ended the season with a 22-43 record. The team is seeking its first playoff berth since 2015.

Hall of Fame Class of 2020 reset to May 2021

Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett’s induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 has been moved to the weekend of May 13-15, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others to be inducted are WNBA legend Tamika Catchings and coaches and executives Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, and Patrick Baumann.

Their induction was supposed to be held at the end of this month.

Combined, Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett had 48 All-Star selections, 29 All-Defense selections, 11 NBA crowns, and four MVP trophies.

In other games

In games Friday which marked the end of the regular season, the Philadelphia 76ers posted a 134-96 rout of the Houston Rockets; the LA Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 107-103; the Toronto Raptors breezed past the Denver Nuggets, 117-109; and the Miami Heat routed the Indiana Pacers, 109-92.

Many of the teams opted to rest their superstars for the playoffs next week or played them sparingly. The reserves had the bulk of the playing time in these games, enabling them to show their skills.

Saturday’s lone game is the playoffs between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trailblazers for the No. 8 seed in the West and the right to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

The Blazers have a twice-to-beat advantage over Memphis.

 
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