LAS VEGAS - Carl Landry is officially the newest member of the Sacramento Kings.
Flanked by Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and owner Vivek Ranadivé, the 29-year-old power forward inked the paperwork to his new four-year, $27-million deal in Las Vegas this morning.
The contract signing took about 20-30 minutes to complete as Landry’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, walked his client through the deal over the phone. It was also opened to media, just another demonstration of how the Kings new regime is doing things a little bit differently than the old guard.
Landry comes back to the Kings after leaving Sacramento in the trade that netted the team Marcus Thornton in 2011. Below, some thoughts from Landry and Ranadivé on the veteran power forward’s return to Sacramento.
Landry on if he started thinking about Sacramento as a destination for him after the end of the relocation saga:
I was actually just happy for the city. The fans are probably the best fans in the NBA. They deserve to have a good basketball team in the city of Sacramento, so that was pretty much the first thing I thought about. And…(I) know that we’re going to bring back some excitement in the city of Sacramento.
Landry on whether his return could’ve been possible if the old ownership and front office were still running the team:
I probably would’ve had to give it more thought. It was definitely an easy decision, knowing that the ownership and everybody in the front office as well as coach (Michael) Malone played a part in the (change of Sacramento). And knowing that the city, by playing here (before), knowing that the fans deserve some excitement in the city and they’re behind you – they’re probably the best fans in the NBA, it just made the decision really easy for me.
Landry on his reunion with Michael Malone, who he played for in Golden State and New Orleans:
I guess it’s meant to be. Coach Malone is one of the best coaches in the NBA. I’m glad he’s having his opportunity to be a head coach, become a head coach in this league. I think he’ll do an exceptional job turning this organization back around, giving the fans something to cheer about.
Landry on trying to bring a level of leadership to Sacramento with fellow new acquisitions Greivis Vasquez and Luc Mbah a Moute:
When I was younger, I think one of the things that helped me, as well as the team, was leadership and experience. Greivis has had experience. Luc has had playoff experience as well as myself. I’ve been in the playoffs four out of six years. And played with some guys – Tracy McGrady, Steve Francises, the Yao Mings – that were there for me at a young age. So hopefully I can just be a leader to this team and put something in a youngster’s head and just help this team grow. And that’s what it’s all about – it’s about experience, leadership and hard work. And I think we have this on this team, we just have to find a way to put it together.
Ranadivé on making Landry his first free agent signing as Kings new owner:
This is a special day for us. It’s our first free agent signing and Carl is a player that I have admired. I’ve been watching him over the course of the last year. And he is symbolic of the new era Kings – Kings 3.0 – excellence on the court, excellence off the court. To me the power forward is a 21st century position. It’s a big man with skills and Carl is really the personification of everything that’s good about our sport. So I’m very, very excited to have him as our first free agent. He’s a man of great integrity, great grace. Always got a smile on his face and he’s gonna bring joy to the Sacramento fans.
Ranadivé on what it felt like making Landry’s deal official today:
We were ecstatic. Carl is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. We saw what we did with the Warriors last year. I saw that, I saw every game. And he was really the secret weapon behind the success. And we were unanimous when we knew we could get Carl. The coach, the GM, myself and others were just unanimous in our view, we had to do everything to get him.