Since the off-season started, us fans have been subject to a wide array of bizarre stories involving our favorite team. Stories have ranged anywhere from Twitter gossip to a new face in the front office. But in the end, is it all bad? And is our collective dream for a completely new Wolves braintrust about to finally come true?
We should have all gathered just how interesting this off-season was going to be starting on April 27th.
That was NOT the day that Glen Taylor reiterated it was Kevin McHale’s choice to remain the head coach of the Wolves before changing his mind, then changing his mind back again, back again, and then finally deciding it was up to the new President of Basketball Operations while many people are secretly thinking it is still up to McHale. What an intentionally jumbled description of an unintentionally jumbled situation.
That was NOT the day that Twitter.com proved to be the most entertaining way to follow Kevin Love’s drunken run-ins with Jeannie Buss, his new braces, or Rashad McCants’ complete and utter insanity surrounding God knows what.
That was NOT the day we learned that Kevin McHale, of all fine choices, (and on Kahn’s tab no doubt) ordered cod at a fine downtown Minneapolis restaurant.
That was NOT the day we were told Tom Penn would be our new VP of Basketball Operations, only to be “Pritch-Slapped” at the last minute and have Penn stun Minneapolis by accepting a promotion in Portland.
That was NOT the day of the NBA Draft Lottery, where we once again came up short, and for the 2nd time in 3 years missed out out on a top pick as a result of winning a coin toss.
Ok, April 27th was the day, of all odd Wolves related news, that Mike Miller dyed his hair bleach blond. A bizarre choice indeed for a bizarre off-season filled with many stories to keep us all occupied. It is almost as if we have our own little soap opera to follow, a TV show of sorts. Each day we find out a little bit more about the McHale situation, or who we may draft. Each afternoon produces one slight twist after another. First it was McHale’s “demotion” out of the front office, followed by the aforementioned incidents. Subsequent questions have consistently arisen, such as “Will Mike Miller keep his hair blond? Will McHale be on the bench next season? Is Big Al on schedule to make a full recovery? What happens to Fred Hoiberg and Rob Babcock? Is Jim Stack Alive? Will McHale one-up himself and order ludafisk on his next man-date with Kahn? Tune in next week to find out!” This is pure, addicting entertainment. This is more fun than the Celtics-Bulls 1st round playoff series. Almost.
And who (or what) is the Golden Child of it all? David Kahn. When he was hired a few weeks ago, Wolves fans everywhere were outraged. When Jerry Zgoda first broke news of his hiring, I would venture to guess that somewhere between 8-9% of Wolves fans vomited on the spot. Since then, however, it seems as if things have fallen into a solid split of opinion.
Back in late April when we first heard of the external candidates who were involved in the interview process, David Kahn was widely regarded as the “Khloe Kardashian” of the group. The one who, simply put, just wasn’t as pretty as the Dennis Lindseys or the Randy Pfunds of the world. Kahn had been out of the league for several years, instead deciding to concentrate on (failed) business ventures in the Developmental League (why anyone would see that as significantly profitable is beyond me). He was the name on the list that made you groan a little bit as you read it, but admittedly you were intrigued to learn a little bit more.
It is my own belief, largely due to the self-rationalization of the situation, that many fellow fans were initially down on the David Kahn hiring simply because he wasn’t Tom Penn. Admittedly, losing out on both Tom Penn and a top draft pick in a span of 24 hours made for a tough pre-memorial day week (in addition to the tainted nachoes served at the NBA City Lottery Party). However, in the days that have followed, a few things have become clear:
1. In an interview from Timberwolves.com Tuesday morning, when asked about team needs prior to the draft, Kahn’s initial reaction was to burst out into laughter. He then went on to address how much help his team needs to contend, and that even with Al Jefferson healthy, he does not see this team as a contender in really any capacity.
Let that sink in for a moment.
We have not heard such words from a member of our front office, well, ever. The chief of the front office is not ok with the status quo. Hearing those words, as a Wolves fan, should be like being lost in the Sahara desert with no water for a month, and then stumbling on an oasis only seconds from death….twice.
2. A (almost) clean house is a real possibility. Since about the year 2001, Wolves fans have been constantly protesting for the front office to be disbanded. Anyone disagreeing with the masses was instantly ridiculed and forever stripped of credibility. On message boards and blogs, the words “Fire McHale!!” (which were usually followed by a non-punctuated, poorly spaced, ever-so-repetitive list of his blunders) have been sent into cyberspace more times than “Paris Hilton Sex Tape” into a Google search. And now, for the first time, when this decade is nearing completion, we finally might be on the verge of getting our wish. And yet, this week there is little discussion or buzz. Why is this? Is it utter disbelief? Are fans having a tough time admitting that seeing McHale canned may be a somewhat sad day not just for the Wolves, but for the state of Minnesota? Does the idea of Hoiberg getting fired hit that soft spot in your heart? Is it a cynical “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude?
I can understand the need to proceed with caution. We have after all, been “cheated on” by this front office time and time again, so some slight insecurity is understood. I will be the first to admit there is something about David Kahn that is a little off. Aside from his D-League financial issues, of which I know too little about to speak formally on, I worry Kahn may try too hard to either a) make a knee-jerk big splash to “win over the fans.” or b) make a trade for a player he thinks is top notch, but who actually is mediocre. Kind of like that guy who, for some reason, is always really proud of constantly bringing home “mediocre” girls from bars. I worry Kahn is one of those guys (on both a literal and figurative sense I suppose). And yes, Kirk Hinrich is every bit of a mediocre, overpaid, non-franchise-saving player we shouldn’t trade for. Stay away from oft-injured tweeners who have not produced a quality season in two years. We all know better.
In the end, it took me a awhile to form a solid opinion on the new front office and the never ending 600 first Avenue Soap opera. For the fist time, I feel as though things just may be going in the direction we want it to. Let’s not take this for granted becuase it sure is entertaining.