Now Reading
King of the World: Owner of Sacramento Kings Vivek Ranadivé Vindicated After Team Ends 17-Year Playoffs Drought

King of the World: Owner of Sacramento Kings Vivek Ranadivé Vindicated After Team Ends 17-Year Playoffs Drought

  • After taking in years of brutal criticism for many missteps including not selecting Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Indian American engineer and entrepreneur may be having the last laugh.

Last year, The Sacramento Bee published a story accusing Vivek Ranadive of turning the Sacramento Kings into a “Basketball Hell” and making the team the NBA’s biggest losers. On Saturday, the Bee would have been red-faced when the Kings beat the Warriors 126-123, their first playoff win in 17 years.

The Sacramento Kings outlasted the defending champion Golden State Warriors in a thriller to capture their first playoff game since 2006 and take a 1-0 lead in this “intriguing first-round series,” as CBS News termed it. The Kings fans were delirious with joy. “A long-dormant volcano erupted in California’s capital Saturday, splitting eardrums and oozing purple in honor of the Sacramento Kings’ first playoff game in nearly 17 years,” The Washington Post described the moment.

In fact, the Kings 17-year playoff drought was over with their 120-80 road victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on March 29. Watching that result from his San Francisco Bay Area home of Atherton Ranadive was reportedly overcome with emotion. Ranadivé bought the Kings for $534 million in 2013, an NBA record, after he sold his shares in the Golden State Warriors.

“It was a great joy. I’ve been wanting this for our fans and for our city with every ounce of my being,” Ranadivé told Andscape. “My phone started ringing off the hook. And I was actually amazed at the number of people from not just around the country, but from around the world that were rooting for us and rooting for me. And I was just overcome with love, and people were just reaching out.”

But it was a long trek for both Ranadivé and the Kings to get to this point. A lot of missteps were attributed to the “interfering owner.” Writing in the Sacramento Bee, Jason Anderson says, “Heads have rolled and blame has fallen on numerous players, coaches and front office executives, but one man, more than any other, has become the face of the longest playoff drought in NBA history: Kings owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadive.”

Quoting an anonymous source, the report talks of a toxic work environment, and likened it to “basketball Hell,” apparently borrowing a line from former Kings forward Rudy Gay.

“It’s been kind of a labor of love. And getting over the finish line, or at least the first finish line. And making it to the playoffs has been absolutely amazing. We got there.”

Among the many terrible decisions Ranadive and his team of decision-makers allegedly made, The Post lists the most egregious ones: “Among other regrettable moves, the Kings selected Tyreke Evans over Stephen Curry, Jimmer Fredette over Klay Thompson, Thomas Robinson over Damian Lillard and Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic.”

Anderson squarely puts most of the blame on Ranadivé saying, he “created a culture of chaos where change was constant, direction was lacking and decision-making power shifted depending on who shared Ranadivé’s views.”

Ranadivé with actress Priyanaka Chopra Jonas.

But the Indian American entrepreneur who has never played basketball in his previous life has turned things around. As Marc J. Spears writes in Aandscape, “Reality now has the Kings as one of the new darlings of the NBA. Sacramento has two NBA All-Stars, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis; an all-rookie team candidate, Keegan Murray; a presumed NBA Coach of the Year candidate, first-year head coach Mike Brown; and an NBA Executive of the Year candidate, Monte McNair. All these good tidings came as the result of the Kings earning a 48-34 record, a Western Conference-best 25 road victories and the No. 3 seed in the West playoffs.”

As if anticipating the good times to come the Kings started a “Victory Beam” that is a purple laser light shown on the top of Golden 1 Center after wins that has become quite popular with players and fans.

See Also

“It’s been kind of a labor of love. And getting over the finish line, or at least the first finish line. And making it to the playoffs has been absolutely amazing. We got there,” a beaming Ranadivé told Spears.

A native of Mumbai, Ranadivé moved to the United States in 1975 to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and later Harvard Business School. He started his career at Ford Motor Company, where he helped develop the company’s first computer-aided design and manufacturing system.

In 1986, he founded Teknekron Software Systems, a company that developed real-time trading systems for financial institutions. The company was sold to Reuters in 1994 for $260 million.

In 1997, Ranadivé founded TIBCO Software, a company that developed software to help businesses integrate their systems and analyze data in real-time. TIBCO went public in 2004 and was acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $4.3 billion in 2014.

He has been involved in several charitable causes, including education, healthcare, and disaster relief. He has donated millions of dollars to support organizations such as the American India Foundation, the Akshaya Patra Foundation, and the Give2Asia Foundation.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2020 American Kahani LLC. All rights reserved.

The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
Scroll To Top