Acclaim and criticism come with the territory. As the Sacramento Kings’ new general manager, Pete D’Alessandro will be praised if he’s successful and blamed if he fails.
However, he won’t be alone when it comes to making decisions on the Kings’ roster. Outside of the input he’ll receive from Vivek Ranadivé and coach Michael Malone, the 45-year-old executive will rely on a staff to help him along the way.
Now, he just has to construct it.
“I want to get this staff together as quickly as I can without making a mistake,” D’Alessandro said during his introduction as Kings’ new GM yesterday. “because the most important thing you can do is think not just three years ahead, but eight, 10 years ahead.”
D’Alessandro comes to Sacramento from the Denver Nuggets, which by his accounts had a “lean and efficient” front office during his three-year stay. When it came to making major decisions, like the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, the onus was on him, former GM Masai Ujiri and team president Josh Kroenke to come up with a solution.
“We all brought our own thing to the table,” D’Alessandro said of the brainstorming he, Ujiri and Kroenke engaged in before pulling the trigger on the Anthony deal. “But we spent many, many late nights…on the whiteboard drawing things out the old fashioned way.
“In terms of the deal, we each brought something different to the table, which is what made it work,” he added.
D’Alessandro would like to bring that same free-flowing exchange of ideas to the Kings’ front office. His vision is to put together a staff that is not too big, but not too small. Too many voices would likely create unnecessary noise while too few opinions would likely result in undesirable conformity.
“I do think there’s going to be some happy medium between the two,” he said Monday. “I think when it gets too big though, then there are issues. There are tentacles and things that go beyond where you want to go as an office.
“You need to keep it close,” D’Alessandro added. “You need to have everyone on the same page. So I think I would lean more small in this league, but maybe slightly bigger than what we had (with the Nuggets).”
Under his watch, the Kings new GM plans to welcome the difference of opinion. He doesn’t want to build a staff just to operate under dictatorial rule. D’Alessandro wants front office members to be sincere and honest when it comes to assessing his ideas.
“I wanna know that when we do agree, it’s real and it’s not just a yes or whatever,” he said of what kind of feedback he hopes to get from the staff he constructs.
Gathering information is also a major part of one’s job as an executive. D’Alessandro doesn’t plan on going to just the usual suspects when it comes to intel. He believes that information can be accumulated from a “variety of places” in today’s digitally-connected world.
“I honestly think there’s so much talent out there, whether it be on the internet and people who follow it and are part of this thing,” D’Alessandro said. “There are people who are statistically up here (smarter) compared to me.
“I feel like information, you can gather from everywhere and anywhere,” he added. “Your group has to be tight, but I think in terms of getting information…I think there’s a lot of opportunities maybe to think differently…”
Thinking differently. Sounds about right in this new era of Kings basketball.