Thursday, July 28, 2005

[Kings] Vlade Divac: Always a King

A detailed, accurate and insightful interview on our beloved Vlade the Daddy, written by one of the knowledgeable members on Bleacher Mob Fan Forum. Recommended.

Some of the excerpts worth mentioning:

On the retirement issue:

"It's basically on hold until Sept. 30," Divac said. "That's the day where I have to make a decision and when the Lakers have to make a decision. Before there was speculation, there was another article in the L.A. Times that named like five different options that might happen with me. One of those was obviously retirement, and I guess some people have said they'd like me to retire, including the one that made up the whole issue about it. But Sept. 30 is the day when I'm going to decide."

"(Lakers' General Manager) Mitch Kupchak and I have talked about the various, different things that could happen," Divac said. "I still love basketball in a way where I have to have fun. Money and a contract are in the second plans. When I look back, I had a wonderful career, and I'm happy."

Divac added, though, that if the Lakers attempt to trade him to another club, he will retire.

"The only two places I can play are Sacramento and L.A.," he stated emphatically.


On the after-career plans:

After retirement as a player, Divac has also received strong support to come back to Sacramento from rabid Kings fans who frequent such popular Kings' internet bulletin board sites as kingsfans.com and bleachermob.com. A majority of these fans would like to see Divac return to the Kings' bench, only this time as a coach.

"Yes, I was thinking about that," Divac said. "But I don't like coaching jobs at all. Because usually when you win games, the players win, right? When they lose, they blame the coach. So I don't like that.

"But you know it's a year of experience," he continued, "Maybe I'll do something like that, to be coach or assistant coach, either here or for the Lakers, and just get the feeling. And if I like it, maybe I'll continue it, but (right now) I don't see myself doing it. I'd rather do more with the kids and the community, in some way staying in basketball, but I don't see myself as a coach. Still I can't say 100 percent."

On his fondest memories as a King:

Two very different experiences immediately jumped to his mind.

"The first one is an emotional memory for me personally," Divac said. "In the days where my hometown was bombed (1999 U.S. intervention in Serbia), and the people in Sacramento, the Sacramento fans, really made me feel good about what I do. They gave me support, and I think it was the best year of my career when I played. I don't know how, because I only slept for a couple hours a day, but playing in front of those people made me feel so good. Really good.

"Basketball-wise, it definitely should be the conference finals (2002) against the Lakers where one ball could go either way, and we fell short for the championship when, I believe, we had the championship team."


Funny thing is, the 1st one is also my favorite moment as a Kings fan thus far: the young, wild, "there's no tomorrow" Kings duke it out with the experienced Jazz squad.

The thrill and excitement still hasn't gone as of now.





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