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In league circles, Divac’s hire was met with raised eyebrows. As a scout for the Lakers, and after a spell running Serbia’s Olympic Committee, he had been largely removed from the NBA for nearly a decade. To cynics who perceived the Kings’ basketball operations arm as dysfunctional, the appointment of Divac was indicative of Ranadive’s inability to admit that there’s a lot about basketball he doesn’t know.
Sources close to the Kings’ nerve center say chief operating officer Matina Kolokotronis was the catalyst behind Divac’s hire. “She’s the only person in the organization that Vivek really trusts,” says a longtime league executive. “She’s the connective tissue of the organization. Her institutional knowledge is second to none, and she’s politically wired in Sacramento. She knows where every body is buried.” Now in her 20th season with the Kings, Kolokotronis is the team’s one-woman ode to continuity. She has done it all, including negotiating player contracts, housing international players in her guest house, running the team’s foundation and working the back channels of Sacramento’s civic power structure. Her critics see her as a consigliere who is far too involved in basketball matters.
Sources say that Kolokotronis saw Divac’s predecessors in management, Pete D’Alessandro and Chris Mullin, as driven by self-interest and prone to cracking on Ranadive on background to the media. League sources say that after the NBA’s vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe declined an offer from the team following general manager D’Alessandro’s departure in June 2015, the Kings turned to Divac in the name of finding someone who would be loyal to Ranadive at a moment when the franchise’s favorability ratings needed a boost.
Game Youth Terrence Cody Jersey Tarik Black is an imposing 6-foot-9, 250-pound young black man with so many tattoos from his neck down that he lost count. As an NBA player, the Memphis, Tennessee, native might fit the stereotype. But knowing he is usually judged at first sight, the eccentric Los Angeles Lakers big man loves to spark conversation with a nervous woman clutching her purse or a fan who sees him as just a jock.