Kings Reportedly Interested in Adding Larry Bird to Front Office
New Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive hasn't wasted any time making sweeping changes to the organization since taking over operations, and his latest dalliance could lead to a big name heading the franchise's way.
NBA media personality Peter Vecsey noted on Twitter early Wednesday afternoon that the two sides were expected to meet and detailed Bird's supposed demands for taking the position:
Kings owner meeting with Larry Bird today means decision on hiring president is on hold. Source says asking 5M per, maybe piece of team— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) June 5, 2013
Jones confirmed through sources that the team did not meet with Bird on Wednesday. He did not go into specifics about whether a meeting was impending, nor was he able to confirm or deny reports of Bird's demands for taking over the struggling franchise's basketball operations.
Ranadive has also talked with former Kings star and current TNT NBA analyst Chris Webber about joining the organization's front office, though not as general manager.
The big splash, however, would be landing Bird. One of the greatest players in NBA history, the 56-year-old Bird has gone on to great success with the Pacers organization, both as a coach and player. Bird spent three seasons as the team's coach from 1997-2000, making the NBA Finals in 2000 and the conference finals the two other years.
He resigned after that finals run, but later returned to Indiana in 2003 to take over as the team's president of basketball operations. It was under Bird's reign that many of the major decisions that led to the Pacers' renaissance as a franchise were made, including the hiring of coach Frank Vogel, the drafting of Paul George and the signing of David West.
Bird left the team after the 2011-12 season, citing health as one of the main reasons for his departure, per a CBS News report. His decision also came just days after his right-hand man with the Pacers, general manager David Morway, left the franchise.
The Pacers, using a roster mostly assembled by the Bird-Morway regime, advanced to the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat in seven games.
Would Larry Bird be a good hire for the Kings?
It's that type of excellence Ranadive his hoping to re-instill with the Kings. The mogul and his ownership group purchased the Kings from the Maloof family last month, a move that prevented a possible relocation to Seattle.
Since the purchase was approved late last month, Ranadive has taken to re-injecting pride in the once-proud franchise. He brought in a new head coach in Mike Malone, who Ranadive knew during his days as a minority owner with the Golden State Warriors. Malone will be tasked with finding a winning formula for a franchise that has not made the playoffs in seven seasons.
Perhaps Ranadive views Bird as the missing ingredient necessary to re-energize the franchise and rejuvenate the roster. History says that would be a solid bet.
Bird has released no statement on the Kings job or his potential interest at this time.
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