Sports Minute: Kings hire former Rockets executive Monte McNair as new GM

1 year 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, September 17 2020 Sep 17, 2020 September 17, 2020 10:54 AM September 17, 2020 in Sports - AP - Texas

By JOSH DUBOWAP Sports Writer

The Sacramento Kings have hired former Houston Rockets executive Monte McNair as their new general manager.

The team announced the move to replace Vlade Divac on Thursday, making McNair the team’s top basketball executive reporting to owner Vivek Ranadivé.

“Monte is one of the NBA’s top basketball minds who has played an instrumental role in building several winning teams in Houston,” Ranadivé said. “I am excited to bring his extensive experience and vision onboard to lead our basketball operations department, and it is my pleasure to welcome Monte and his family to Sacramento.”

McNair has a tough task ahead with the Kings having missed the playoffs for 14 straight seasons. That’s the longest active drought and one shy of the NBA record. The Kings went 31-41 this season in the first year under coach Luke Walton.

McNair is a Southern California native who spent 13 years working for the Rockets. He has been the assistant general manager since 2018 and also was integral in the team’s analytics department, working closely with the coaching staff on strategy.

The Rockets have made the playoffs for eight straight seasons with two trips to the Western Conference final and seven 50-win campaigns.

McNair played college football at Princeton and worked as a sports programmer and researcher at STATS LLC.

The Kings also announced that Joe Dumars has been named chief strategy officer after running the basketball department on an interim basis following Divac’s departure.

Divac was initially hired by the Kings in March 2013 as vice president of basketball operations and franchise operations. He became general manager in August 2015 but was unable to get the Kings back into the playoffs.

He traded DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans in 2017 and made the decision to draft Marvin Bagley III second overall in 2018, one spot ahead of Luka Doncic.

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