This video only started making the rounds on Monday and although it’s been up for a while, anything related to the Sacramento Kings when Vlade Divac was playing for them is well worth one’s while.
Divac may have failed in his stint atop the Kings front office — notably passing up Luka Doncic in the draft — but he was a hell of a player in his time. He was a key cog in the Sacramento squads of my childhood led by Chris Webber.
For those Kings to take the next step, they traded electrifying point guard Jason Williams to Memphis and got Mike Bibby to be their new floor general. Peeved as I was when that happened, at least Bibby delivered this glorious story about Divac smoking cigarettes on the All The Smoke podcast:
How fitting, right? On a podcast titled All The Smoke, Bibby lets us know that Vlade was ripping darts before he went out to body dudes on the boards and dunk on their heads all night.
“I seen him before the game. So the bathroom stall is this high, his head is over the top. So I go and use the bathroom and he’s in there like [*mimes smoking a cig*].
I said, ‘Vlade, you in there smoking a f*cking cigarette!?’ He just got it done real quick and just threw it out and went to warm up.”
Bibby praised Divac’s role as a team leader, how on-court stats didn’t impact him and how he always kept good vibes going in the locker room. I mean…duh, right? Once you explain that Vlade was lighting up prior to tip-off, little else needs to be said. You just know this guy is down for a good time all the time.
Makes you wonder, though, doesn’t it? Like sure, he had a solid NBA career, but can you imagine how unfair it’d be to his opponents if Vlade went cold turkey and actually worked on his cardio? This man was deliberately sabotaging himself because he didn’t want to embarrass anyone.
I’ve earned a whole new level of respect for Vlade Divac. I hope he managed to kick that nasty habit and wasn’t trying to power through the stresses of being an NBA executive by mowing down packs of Marlboro Reds.
Although the modern Kings are enjoying a resurgence of sorts lately, there was nothing quite like those late 90s-early 2000s teams. Explore the video below if you care to know more. Jason Williams did leave before that core of players reached their peak, but I’ll also add some JWill highlights to the mix, too.
If you’ve never seen him play before, are you ever in for a treat.