"For me, I would rather just sit there."
If Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive truly had things his way, he'd never have to sit with Drake, or any other celebrities, while watching his team play. Ranadive recently spoke at length with USA Today's Sam Amick about the team's new arena, the Golden 1 Center, as well as what it's like to sit courtside with Drizzy.
As he explains, it's not his favorite thing in the world. In fact, it sounds like it's something that is more or less forced upon him:
"Here’s the thing, OK?" Ranadivé said. "I’m a huge fan of basketball, and I would like nothing better than to just sit there and watch the game. That’s like my No. 1 choice. But I also know that I represent the brand and they’re trying to make this a place that people come [to]. They’re trying to make this like L.A. or like Oakland now has become, where it’s a who’s who of people coming. So they have people come, and then I’m expected to sit with them and chat with them. [Drake] loves Boogie. He loves Kentucky. He loves Coach [John] Calipari. And I had no—I just do what they tell me to do. And so they say, 'Hey, sit here with Drake, or sit here with Jamie Foxx, or sit here with this person.' For me, I would rather just sit there. It’s work for me. When that happens, I’m working. I’m entertaining them, talking to them."
His honesty is refreshing but that's not exactly the best way to encourage A-list celebrities to come visit your new arena.
On one particular night last November, following a 106-88 loss to the Spurs, Drake requested to go back into the locker room and Ranadive obliged. However, Ranadive says they walked in right after DeMarcus Cousins had just blown up on then head coach George Karl and cursed him out in front of the entire locker room.
This resulted in an incredibly awkward experience for all parties involved.
"He’s friends with DeMarcus," Ranadivé said. "And by the way, I’ve never ever been into the locker room [after a game]. So when [Drake] was on his way, he said, 'Hey, I’m just going to go say hi to DeMarcus.' He had come all the way to support him, and I didn’t know that [there had been a fight between Cousins and Karl]."
He then confirmed what most of us were already aware of, Karl was desperate to trade Boogie prior to last season.
"You know, look, George had tried to trade Cousins that whole summer," Ranadivé said, "and there was not a lot of love between those two, and so there was tension there. So that was not a new thing."
You can catch up on the full Q+A with Sacramento's owner right here.