Every Sacramento sports fan knows the names Vlade Divac and Vivek Ranadive. Former Sacramento Kings center Divac is now the general manager. Sillicon Valley CEO Ranadive is the team’s majority owner.
One of the best passing centers the NBA has ever seen, the 7-foot tall Divac helped transform a once mediocre franchise into a championship contender in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. His jersey was retired in 2009.
Ranadive bought the Kings in 2013, rescuing the team from a sale that would have moved them to Seattle. Beyond keeping the team in town, Ranadive proposed plans for a new downtown arena which is now under construction.
The two men interviewed each other as part of StoryCorps visit to Sacramento in September.
While they did discuss the team and the new arena, much of their conversation focused on another subject: their shared experience as immigrants.
Ranadive came to this country from India to study engineering at MIT in Boston. Divac was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and moved to California from Serbia. In this excerpt from their conversation they talk about the immigrant experience, then and now.