Divac retires; accepts front office position
El Segundo, CA (Sports Network) – Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac has
announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the NBA.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak announced that Divac has accepted a
front office position with the team. His role will include several duties, but
his main focus will be as a liaison and scout in Europe.
“Vlade enjoyed an excellent career in the NBA and was one of the most popular
players we’ve had, both with the fans and with team management,” said Kupchak.
“His playing style was defined by his wittiness and creativity on the court
and we think those talents will benefit him in his new off-court career as
Divac spent the 2004-05 campaign in his second stint with the Lakers, but
missed much of the season due to a herniated disc in his back. In only 15
games, he averaged 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds.
A former first-round pick of the Lakers in the 1989 draft (26th overall),
Divac has averaged 11.9 points and 8.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.46 blocks
in 1,119 career games.
Divac ended his career as one of only three players in NBA history to surpass
13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots.
Divac spent the first seven years of his career in Hollywood before being
traded to the Charlotte Hornets in the deal that sent Kobe Bryant to Los
Angeles. After two seasons with the Hornets (1996-98), Divac signed as a free
agent with Sacramento, where he stayed for the next six campaigns. Divac then
signed with the Lakers prior to last season to finish out his career.
A 2001 All-Star, Divac led Yugoslavia (now Serbia-Montenegro) to a gold medal
at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis. He also earned silver medals
with Yugoslavia at the 1988 and 1996 Olympic games.