Western Notes: Kings, Harden, Griffin

Two years into his majority ownership of the Kings, Vivek Ranadive admits he has made several mistakes — including hiring former coach Michael Malone before assembling a front office and selecting a general manager in 2013 — but said he expects success in the future for the franchise, and also clarified Vlade Divac‘s role in the front office in an interview with Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

“Vlade makes the decisions,” said Ranadive, adding that Divac’s title as vice president of basketball and franchise operations positions him above GM Pete D’Alessandro. “Two people report directly to me. Chris Granger, who runs the business side, and Vlade from the basketball side. I want to make that clear as we move forward. We have a lot of work to do, and we are all in this together.”

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • In the same piece, Divac tells Voisin that he doesn’t expect the Kings to be a lottery team next season. “[It’s the] last time [in the lottery],” said Divac, who will represent the Kings at the proceedings on May 19th. “We’re going to move fast, and like Vivek said, we are all in this together. Me, coach, Pete, Mike [Bratz]. No separate agendas. Our only agenda now is to win.”
  • James Harden is averaging 27.4 points per game this postseason, but the skilled scorer also leads the NBA in postseason turnovers, at 40, and produced plus/minus in the negative and the Rockets need him to elevate his game in the team’s series against the ClippersCalvin Watkins of ESPN.com writes.
  • Rockets coach Kevin McHale was complimentary of the ClippersBlake Griffin and the star’s improvement this postseason, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. As Feigen points out, Griffin’s averages of 25.1 points per game, 13.5 rebounds per game and 7.3 assists per game through his first 10 playoff games are all playoff career bests. “You either improve or you stay the same. If you stay the same, they draft other people at your position and you go get a job being an Uber driver or something,” McHale said. “He improved. That’s what you got to do. If you’re not better in your third or fourth year than you were in your first year, there’s something wrong with you.”
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