NBA Kings Move Swiftly In Search For New Basketball Ops Exec; Reach Out To Bird, Mullin
The NBA Kings' new ownership group has "reached out" to basketball HOFers Larry Bird and Chris Mullin as well as former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy about "running the team's basketball operations, a search that is wide open," according to sources cited by Ken Berger of CBSSPORTS.com. Sources said that in addition to "exploratory conversations with Bird and Mullin, the Kings have formally interviewed" Dunleavy, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace and Warriors Assistant GM & Dir of Player Personnel Travis Schlenk for the job. A source said the search is "very fluid." The source added that it is "expected to expand beyond the current crop of candidates." There is "hesitation among some members of the Kings' hierarchy about two aspects of the search for a head of basketball operations as it stands now." Sources said that there is a "fear of the perception of installing too many transplants from the Warriors organization, and also a hesitation to begin the franchise's rebuild with a first-time head coach and first-time GM" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/3). The AP's Josh Dubow noted President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie has built the Kings into a "perennial contender that almost brought a title to Sacramento." But he also oversaw "the recent downfall." Petrie's contract expires June 30 and he will not be brought back, but is "expected to stay on through the draft." Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive has "already interviewed potential replacements" for Petrie but does "not want to rush into any decisions." He "moved quickly to hire" new coach Mike Malone because he "didn't want to risk losing him to other interested teams" (AP, 6/3).