Tuesday was a banner day for the Sacramento Kings. After years of bad luck and mismanagement, they finally put a good foot forward and showed the rest of the league that they are on the right track to contention. Sometimes, all you need is a little spark, and the rest follows. Someone new and unexpected is coming into the Kings organization at just the right time.
Also, in other news, the team moved up in the draft lottery from seventh to fourth.
But we’re talking about the big story. Sean Cunningham of Sacramento’s Fox station broke the news on Tuesday afternoon that the Stockton Kings—in a Roman Tetrarchy–type situation, they’re the G-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings—have appointed Anjali Ranadive to a new post as the assistant general manager. She is currently with the organization in Chicago for this week’s NBA Draft combine.
Ranadive spent the 2021–22 season working as the head of the Kings’ Social Responsibility Department, so at least she’s moving to the basketball ops side of things with a pretty serious familiarity with the organization. In addition to her Social Responsibility work, Ranadive is also the head of the Jaws And Paws Foundation, which works to rescue and foster neglected and abused “wolf dogs and other species.” Those species include turtles, regular dogs, and lizard-type creatures. The sanctuary is located in Los Angeles County’s Acton, though she said they will relocate up to the Sacramento area next year. The Berkeley graduate has also been involved in projects in the music and ocean conservation spaces (she was given the 2015 Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award). Her basketball experience includes being interviewed by Malcolm Gladwell about her youth basketball career, and taking part in the 2022 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. Her father Vivek also happens to own the Sacramento Kings.
Is it a bad idea to empower one’s children to make basketball decisions, opting to select for front-office jobs by way of blood ties rather than basketball bona fides? Is it the sign of a sclerotic franchise run by an incompetent owner that said owner continues to show he has learned nothing from a decade’s worth of criticism for his over-involvement in the team’s on-court fortunes? Should basketball decision makers have experience making basketball decisions? No, obviously not. Family businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy.