Sacramento Kings Wanted Larry Bird as GM

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2013

With the NBA approving the sale of the Sacramento Kings to Vivek Ranadive on Friday, the new era for Sacramento is under way. They have had their sights set on the top-tier front office members from the get-go, even targeting Larry Bird

After relieving Keith Smart of his head coaching duty shortly following the official approval (and hiring of Mike Malone to replace him), it was obvious that the Kings would be doing a top-down overhaul of the entire staff.

The team has been looking for elite candidates for their open general manager job, with Larry Bird somewhere on the list to get the position.

Just targeting Bird should tell you how serious the Kings are about performing an overhaul on their team, as he's one of the most well-respected basketball minds in quite some time.

After retiring from coaching the Indiana Pacers back in 2000, the three-time NBA Champion took over as the Pacers' president of basketball operations in 2003.

The Pacers made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004—although much of the team was already together by the time Bird had been hired—before being forced to fragment the following season.

After the Malice at the Palace early in the 2004-05 campaign, the team watched as Reggie Miller retired, Ron Artest was traded for Peja Stojakovic and the organization went into a downward spiral as it attempted to rehabilitate their image.

In the process, they drafted Danny Granger 17th overall, who would prove to be the player to bridge the gap between two great eras in Pacers' history.

Bird was with the team up until 2012, a year in which he was named the NBA Executive of the Year and the team won more than half their games for the first time since 2005. 

The long-time Indiana executive felt that it was his time to go, and the team was in good hands with Donnie Walsh taking things over.

It's obvious that Bird has some ability to craft a team and revamp an image problem, both of which seem to be first and foremost on Ranadive's plate as the Kings' new owner.

While Bird would be an amazing candidate to land, speculation is that Bird would only return to a full-time position in the NBA with the Pacers.

Aside from Bird, Ranadive has reportedly shown interest in Memphis Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, San Antonio Spurs GM R.C. Buford and former Los Angeles Clippers GM Mike Dunleavy.