It's been a good year for Vlade Divac and the Kings. Not great, but good.
And for Divac, it just got a whole lot better.
The Kings general manager will be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame later this year through the International Committee, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday. The Hall confirmed the news Saturday.
He had an incredible 16-year @NBA career and with the Yugoslavian national team won 2 FIBA World 🏆 and 2 Olympic 🥈’s. He was named one of European Club Basketball’s 50 Greatest Contributors. We congratulate @bgoodvlade. #19HoopClass— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) April 6, 2019
📸: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images pic.twitter.com/d0OkqjImxA
Divac played six of his 16 NBA seasons with the Kings, making the playoffs in all six, and he's now the team's GM, responsible for a remarkable turnaround this season. He's one of just seven players in NBA history with at least 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocks in his career.
Vlade Divac was a star on the international level before his first NBA game, having won a silver medal for Yugoslavia at the 1988 Olympics and helping the national team win the 1989 Eurobasket. He was chosen with 26th overall pick in the 1989 NBA draft. #19HoopClass pic.twitter.com/Ar3srybRSG— NBA History (@NBAHistory) April 6, 2019
Divac's induction into the @Hoophall is long overdue. An absolute legend internationally and part of the great European influx of players in the late 80's and early 90's. A true ambassador for the game.— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) April 6, 2019
“I’m overwhelmed by this honor,” Divac said in a statement released by the Kings. “As a young man, I never would have believed the opportunities afforded to me by this great sport.
"Basketball has looked after me for most of my life, and I’ve always done what I can to give back to this special community. It’s been an unforgettable journey and I want to thank my family for their support. I also want to express my appreciation to my teammates, coaches, staff, colleagues and fans who have played a significant role in helping me achieve this incredible recognition.”
Added Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé: "Vlade has been a transformational leader on and off the court for his entire career. As an international basketball pioneer and global ambassador for the game, he has used his platform to make the world a better place for over three decades. From his efforts to start Basketball Without Borders to his lasting impact on how the game is played, he continues to serve as an inspiration and role model for players of all ages around the world. Congratulations to Vlade, Ana and his family on this prestigious distinction."
Joining Divac in the Basketball Hall Class of 2019 will be former Kings coach Paul Westphal, Warriors ambassador Al Attles, former Bucks guard Sidney Moncrief, former 76ers forward Bobby Jones and basketball pioneer Chuck Cooper. Other honorees include Bill Fitch, Jack Sikma, Teresa Weatherspoon and the Tennessee A&I teams of 1957 to 1959.
Divac and Co. will be enshrined into the Basketball Hall on Sept. 5-7 in Springfield, Mass.