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Kings GM Vlade Divac talks about ‘love’ in Hall of Fame induction speech

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Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac became one of the newest members of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night.

During his Hall of Fame speech, Divac spoke extensively about the love for the game of basketball and how that love inspired him to give it all back, via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

This love has obviously inspired Divac to continue being a prominent name in the game of basketball even after his playing days.

The Serbian big man was inducted to the Hall for his contributions mostly in international basketball, serving as an ambassador for the sport. Divac never really had a colorful resume on his NBA career. He made the All-Rookie First Team and was named to the All-Star team just once.

The 6-foot-10 center had his humble beginnings in Yugoslavia before being drafted with the 26th overall pick in the 1989 NBA draft. He played 16 seasons in the NBA and had stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, and the Sacramento Kings.

Divac became a major reason for the resurgence of the Kings franchise. Sacramento, with the core of Divac, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, and Mike Bibby, became a perennial playoff team and eventually emerged as a championship contender in the early 2000s.

They made the Western Conference Finals in 2002 and came close to advancing to the NBA Finals. However, they could not get past the powerhouse Los Angeles Lakers in a controversial seven-game series.

After the NBA, Divac has continued to be an ambassador of the game, helping spread its popularity especially in Europe.

He will enter his sixth season as Sacramento’s GM. He and the Kings have high hopes for the upcoming 2019-20 season as they look to end a 13-year playoff drought, currently the longest active drought in the NBA.