Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier today that Pete D’Alessandro is leaving the Kings to accept a front office post with the Nuggets. He’ll be working in a supporting role under team president Josh Kroenke with both the Nuggets and the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche. D’Alessandro’s impending departure from Sacramento will end a tumultuous tenure that began with high hopes when new Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive brought him aboard back in June 2013, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. In the article, Jones relays a number of details regarding D’Alessandro’s tenure with the Kings. Jones’ meticulously reported piece is worth a full read, especially for Kings fans, but we’ll pass along some highlights here:
- D’Alessandro fought for the firing of coach Michael Malone last December, Jones writes. Parting ways with Malone sent the team into a tailspin and angered a number of the players on the roster, as Jones details. Ranadive said it was D’Alessandro and former Kings adviser Chris Mullin, who is now head coach at St. John’s University, who insisted that firing Malone was best for the team. This conflicts with Wojnarowski’s report, which indicated that Ranadive forced D’Alessandro into firing Malone.
- The GM alienated some Kings players when he publicly relayed that Malone would have been fired even if the team had a winning record, according to Jones. The players viewed the termination of Malone as a personal vendetta that D’Alessandro acted on regardless of the effect it would have on the team, the Bee scribe adds.
- D’Alessandro told center DeMarcus Cousins that he was against the hiring of George Karl as coach, multiple sources told Jones. Cousins later became upset when reports surfaced indicating that he was the one who was against Karl being named coach because of his loyalty to Malone.
- D’Alessandro was the primary reason that former director player pro personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim left the team before this past season, Jones reports. Abdur-Rahim disagreed with the GM’s decision to select Nik Stauskas in the 2014 draft, and he believed that Elfrid Payton would have been a better fit for the team, Jones relays.
- Ranadive hired Vlade Divac, against D’Alessandro’s wishes, in order to add a basketball voice whom the owner believed wouldn’t allow personal feelings to impact his professional decisions, Jones adds.