The house cleaning of the old Sacramento Kings glory days continued Saturday when it was reported that assistant GM and Kings’ legend Peja Stojakovic would be departing the organization along with GM Vlade Divac.
Stojakovic joined the team back in 2015 when Divac first landed the GM role. He initially spent time as the general manager of the team’s D-League franchise in Reno and as the Kings Player Personnel Director, before stepping into the assistant GM role in 2018. Vlade needed someone he could trust completely in a league of backroom deals and backstabbing agents. The fellow Serbian was his most trusted advisor.
Peja was originally drafted by the Kings in 1996, but played for two more seasons for team PAOK of the Greek League before coming to Sacramento in 1998 to start what would ultimately become Sacramento’s most dominant period in the NBA.
It was never entirely clear if Peja was fully invested in his role with the Kings, as he was involved in many business ventures overseas at the time he was summoned to Sacramento. But his loyalty to Vlade was unquestionable and he would do anything for his good friend and NBA mentor.
“It has been a great joy and honor to work in the Kings front office for the past five years. I want to thank the organization and especially the incredible fans around the world for the support over the years", said Stojakovic via a statement released by the Kings. "Sacramento will always be home to me and I wish the franchise nothing but the very best.”
Ken Catanella, the lone remaining assistant GM holdout is expected to stay with the organization through the draft and free-agency process as he has a history with the new Interim VP of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars during their time together with the Detroit Pistons. However, his future role with the Kings is unclear beyond that.