Jolted From Slumber

I like to think of myself as a typical Timberwolves Fan. And yes, I realize that by simply being a T-Wolves fan I am – by definition – atypical. But that’s beside the point, seeing as how this is a Wolves Blog named TwolvesBlog.

Typical fans – especially the past few years – have basically dismissed non-lottery Wolves-related news after April, then caught up around August. Mostly because the news was never very interesting. And it’s been very easy to do, with the NFL draft and NBA playoffs and Twins winning boatloads of games.

This season, however, we’ve had losing streaks of six and nine games out of the Twins, which has caused pre-apathy to set in and allowed minds to wander toward Minnesota basketball. Thankfully, David Kahn has provided some entertainment to sports apetites.

Kahn’s motormouth has been documented dutifully and deftly by the other TWB contributors, so I won’t rant about that stuff, but I will say I freaking love it. Not only are the Timberwolves “big news” because of their position in the draft, we’re also news because of our ZAYYYY-NEEE general manager! He says what he thinks all of the time, which while refreshing and interesting, can make us look like idiots for ever hiring the guy. But what did we expect? Before Kahn’s arrival:

  • The Wolves won 46 combined games from 07-08 to 08-09, and that was preceeded by back-to-back low-30-win seasons
  • Our lineup/bench was full of crap contracts and unmotivated players
  • Very little – outside Kevin Love – was done through the draft to infuse young talent into the roster
  • In summary, there was no hope for the immediate future, no money to sign free agents, and the franchise was unattractive to said free agents even if we DID have the money.

What the hell kind of person wants a job like that?

The crazy kind, that’s who.

The kind of guy who’s ambivalent-yet-motivated, aloof-but-diligent and eternally optimistic in spite of insurmountable odds.

The kind of guy who will craft a philosophy and stick to it, even when it looks like it’s falling apart even as it is put in place.

So when he says things like “manna from heaven” or compares bit players to HOFers, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s part of the package.

And when fellow contributors say “he has to go”, I kind of balk at it, because Kahn has never been anything but up front and honest with the media and fans. And he’s never claimed to be a savior. He’s simply put a plan in place to get the franchise in healthy position to compete for years into the future. And by my count, he’s moved to the franchise toward that end with striking efficiency.

Plus, as Strib columnist Jim Souhan wrote last night:

“I’d much rather live in a world where Ozzie Guillen occasionally says something offensive while trying to be entertaining than a world in which someone like Kahn is afraid to speak publicly. Kahn’s speeches are the only entertainment we get during basketball season.”

Only, I believe the on-court entertainment will continue to improve to the point where our GM isn’t the lead story.

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