Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic were inseparable as players, and when Divac needed a head lieutenant in his venture to return to Sacramento to rebuild the Kings, Stojakovic came to his aid.
With Divac stepping down from his position as general manager of the club on Friday afternoon, it was only a matter of when, not if, Stojakovic would follow his 7-foot friend out the door.
The Kings made the news official Saturday afternoon.
“It has been a great joy and honor to work in the Kings front office for the past five years,” Stojakovic said in a statement released by the Kings. “I want to thank the organization and especially the incredible fans around the world for the support over the years. Sacramento will always be home to me and I wish the franchise nothing but the very best.”
Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé also issued a statment regarding Stojakovic's departure.
“We are deeply appreciative to Peja for his contributions and commitment to the Kings and to the city of Sacramento both as a legend and as an executive,” Ranadivé said. “Peja is a pillar of the community and he will always remain a part of our Kings family. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.”
The Athletic's Shams Charania first reported the news that Stojakovic was stepping down.
Stojakovic joined Divac in the Kings’ front office in 2015 as a player personnel and development director. He was promoted to assistant general manager in 2018 and was a trusted sounding board for Divac.
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A three-time All-Star, Stojakovic played his first seven-and-a-half seasons in a Kings uniform. He retired with the Dallas Mavericks following their title run in 2011. When he left the game at just 33-years-old, he was third all-time in 3-point makes.
As of Saturday morning, there was no word on the Kings’ second assistant general manager, Ken Catanella.
Known for his savvy salary cap moves, Catanella spent four seasons with the Detroit Pistons under Joe Dumars, who is now the interim vice president of basketball operations for the Kings.
The Kings are hitting the reset button on their front office. Dumars is being tasked with finding a replacement for Divac, but he might need more help than that once the dust settles.