Vivek Ranadivé is aiming for the fences.
The Sacramento Kings owner has once again set his sights on hiring Kentucky coach John Calipari. The wishful hiring attempt has been a long running pipedream of Ranadivé’s, which further adds to the current chaos of the Sacramento Kings organization.
In a video at Bleacher Report (H/T to NBC Sports for transcribing), Ric Bucher has a laundry list of proposed Ranadivé changes, including firing current head coach George Karl, making assistant Nancy Lieberman the head coach for the time being, and then eventually pursuing Calipari with a dump truck of money.
The belief still is it’s a matter of when, not if, Karl will be removed as the head coach.
If that should happen during this season, the short-term answers are, according to owner Vivek Ranadivé – or sources say – he would like to move Nancy Lieberman into the head-coaching position, making a big splash by having the first female head coach in NBA history. Vlade Divac, the GM is more inclined to fill with Corliss Williamson for the remainder of the season.
But Ranadivé’s biggest dream is to have Kentucky coach John Calipari come out and coach this roster full of Kentucky players.
The belief is that Ranadive will take another run after Calipari plans to make an offer that Calipari simply cannot refuse.
Ranadivé has chased Calipari in the past. Speculation was so rampant this offseason, Calipari had to tweet he hadn’t been offered a job and was committed to Kentucky.
At no time has @Vivek offered me a job. I WILL BE AT KENTUCKY.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 30, 2015
Meanwhile, Ranadivé has gone far to make the Kings roster as Calipari friendly as possible. He’s got three Wildcat alums on the roster, two of whom – Willie Cauley-Stein and Rajon Rondo (who played at UK before Calipari took over) – were brought in this offseason. He even brought noted Kentucky fan and rapper Drake into the Kings locker room, after spending the game with him courtside, despite being the midst of an ugly losing streak. He’s not being subtle about his aspirations.
Lieberman’s hiring would certainly represent progress as she’d be the first female head coach in NBA history, but handing her the reins now would come across more as a publicity stunt than a move to help the franchise.
The likelihood of Calipari leaving a very successful program to join the mess in Sacramento seems unlikely. Money speaks, but aside from Cousins, there’s not all that much enticing about the opportunity. Plus, knowing Ranadivé, his job security would be questioned after about a week.
The Kings are 4-9, and it’s possible things will get worse. Should Karl get canned, the new head coach would be the fourth since Ranadivé bought the team in 2013. As long as he’s the man pulling the strings from behind the curtains, the Kings will remain a mess. The organization have been a revolving door of mediocrity and bad decisions under his ‘guidance’.