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The Sacramento Kings have decided to promote from within and elevate Shareef Abdur-Rahim from the position of assistant coach, a role he’s held for the past two years, to the front office position of assistant general manager. Abdur-Rahim is now one of the few players ever to be a longtime player (12 years), a coach and now rounding it all out by becoming part of the management team alongside Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.
Abdur-Rahim, a soft-spoken man, said he was very grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s a great opportunity from the organization,” Abdur-Rahim said. “The Maloof family, Geoff Petrie and Wayne Cooper have given me a great chance to part of this organization and move into a different role. I’m fortunate to be in this situation and I look forward to being part of this organization and make a contribution that helps this team.”
Prior to the promotion, Abdur-Rahim could be seen frequently working with the current crop of Kings big men. Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry, DeMarcus Cousins and more have been seen receiving instruction on a daily basis, and the new promotion will not keep him from continuing his love of coaching.
“I have a lifelong passion for the game of basketball,” Abdur-Rahim said. “I want to see guys improve. I want to see guys play the right way. I’ll still be around. Coach has kind of left it open for me to jump out on the floor before practice and after practice to work with the guys. I still enjoy that, so I make it a point to do that.”
To anyone behind the curtain, this is the ongoing progression of a man who has dedicated his entire life to the game he loves.
Even early on in his coaching career, the management team would let him sit in on meetings preparing for the draft and help him understand the process of evaluating players.
Petrie spoke about the unique qualities it takes to be accomplished at three different positions within an organization.
“You have to have integrity, an understanding of the game and being able to relate to all kinds of people, and Shareef is capable of all of that and is a great individual to have around,” Petrie said.
Abdur-Rahim spent 12 years running up and down the court until having to step aside because of recurring knee problems. During his career, besides playing for Sacramento from the 2005-06 to 2007-08 seasons, he spent time with the Vancouver Grizzlies (five seasons), Atlanta Hawks (three seasons) and Portland Trailblazers (two seasons).
Abdur-Rahim’s career exploded early on as he became the sixth-youngest player in NBA history to reach the 10,000 point mark by the age of 26. Only Kobe Bryant, Bob McAdoo, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also hold that record.
During the best stretch of his career, Abdur-Rahim averaged 20 or more points and seven or more rebounds for five consecutive seasons. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 2000 and was selected as an All-Star for the Eastern Conference in 2002.
Over his career, Abdur-Rahim averaged 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game and shot a more than respectable .452 from the floor and .810 from the free throw line.