LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Hall of Famer Joe Dumars is back in the NBA, hired as a special adviser to Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac.

The Kings announced the hiring Friday of Dumars, the former president of basketball operations for the Pistons from 2000-14. He played his entire 14-year NBA career with Detroit.

“Joe and I played together in the league and is a legend in our sport,” Divac said in a released statement. “As an experienced and talented basketball executive, I’m excited to have him serve as a special adviser and expert resource for our incredible front office team.”

“I’ve known Vlade for decades, and I’m thrilled to work with him and the Sacramento Kings at such an exciting time for the franchise,” Dumars said in a written statement.

Dumars joins the Kings with more than 30 years of NBA experience both as a player and front office executive in addition to an extensive executive business background.

Since leaving the Pistons in 2014, Dumars has has been president of the Basketball Division for Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE), a full-service sports agency representing more than 300 players from the NBA, NFL and MLB for the past two years.

Outside of basketball Dumars was the founder and CEO of automotive supply company Detroit Technologies Inc., for 10 years (1996-06), helping the company grow to more than $120 million in revenues. He is also the founder and owner of the Joe Dumars Fieldhouse, a multi-purpose, indoor sports complex and entertainment facility with two locations in Detroit.

The Hall of Fame guard served as president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons for 13 seasons (2000-14). In 2004, he became the first African-American executive to lead an organization to an NBA title. He also guided the team to six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances, two Conference Championships and was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2003. In 2010, Sports Illustrated named Dumars one of the Top 10 sports executives of the past decade.

During his 14-year NBA career, Dumars won two titles, was named NBA Finals MVP, appeared in six All-Star games and was named All-Defensive First Team four times. He was also a member of the 1994 gold-medal USA Basketball World Championships team. Dumars was the first recipient of the NBA Sportsmanship Award (1995-96), which was subsequently named the Joe Dumars Trophy.

Canadian content

Canada’s basketball celebration keeps on going.

Six Canadians were drafted Thursday, setting the record for a country other than the U.S.

A week after the Toronto Raptors won the nation’s first NBA championship, Canadians RJ Barrett, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Brandon Clarke, Mfiondu Kabengele, Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan) and Marial Shayok were drafted.

“It’s amazing to be Canadian,” said Barrett, who went third overall to the New York Knicks. “We take a lot of pride. That’s why I’ve got my Canadian flags on this side of my jacket. To put it on for our country, that means a lot.”

France had five players selected in 2016.

“To see players come out of (Canada) and be very good is something that’s awesome,” said Clarke, who went 21st to the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I’m somebody who grew up watching (Steve) Nash play and I always thought it was really cool he was from Canada.”

The players selected — four in the first round — join the 13 active Canadian players in the NBA. Among them include former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, NBA champion Tristan Thompson, Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Tyler Ennis.

The previous record for the most Canadians chosen in a single draft was in 2014, when four were picked. From 1983-2009, a total of just nine were selected.

Marquee matchup

Former Duke teammates Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett are slated to potentially make their NBA Summer League debuts against one another.

The NBA said that Williamson and the Pelicans will face off against Barrett and the Knicks on July 5, the first day of the league’s annual summer showcase at UNLV. Williamson was the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s draft, and Barrett was selected No. 3 overall.

Another marquee matchup awaits Williamson on July 6, when the Pelicans take on the Washington Wizards and No. 9 selection Rui Hachimura — the first Japanese-born player to be taken in the first round of the NBA Draft.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE