The hierarchy in the Kings’ front office could soon become clearer.
Multiple reports have Chris Mullin, a Kings adviser, being offered the coaching job at St. John’s. The school parted ways with Steve Lavin on Friday.
Mullin did not return a message seeking comment.
Mullin was majority owner Vivek Ranadive’s third major hire in basketball operations after coach Michael Malone and general manager Pete D’Alessandro.
Mullin and D’Alessandro were the driving forces behind Malone’s firing last December, Ranadive said. Mullin declined the opportunity to coach the Kings after Malone’s dismissal.
But after Malone’s firing, the Kings season went awry with a 7-21 record under Tyrone Corbin, whom Ranadive said Mullin and D’Alessandro endorsed to finish the season as coach. George Karl was hired as coach after the All-Star break.
How much influence Mullin would have with the Kings going forward should he decline the St. John’s offer is unclear. Ranadive, looking for help running the franchise after the Malone fiasco, hired former Kings star Vlade Divac as vice president of franchise and basketball operations earlier this month.
Divac’s title would seem to give him broad authority in several areas, making the future roles of Mullin and D’Alessandro uncertain. Multiple sources said neither was pleased with Divac’s addition to the front office. Divac has no previous allegiance to them.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim was the Kings’ director of player personnel before leaving the team after disagreeing with Mullin and D’Alessandro over player evaluations during last year’s draft. Abdur-Rahim was also known to work with Malone, which put him at odds with the power structure led by D’Alessandro and Mullin, according to multiple league sources.
Ranadive is seeking to end such discord going forward, per league sources.
If Mullin were to leave, it would clear up some of the confusion. It would also mean D’Alessandro would be without someone who has been one of his good friends and allies in the business since both attended St. John’s.
When Mullin ran basketball operations at Golden State, D’Alessandro worked under him.