David Kahn’s joking comments regarding the NBA’s “habit” of producing good storylines during the draft lottery was met with fairly harsh criticism across the board. As very eloquently detailed in the post below, the TWB crew (not fans of the front office by any stretch), are backing Kahn on this one as he was clearly joking. The real controversy here is not Kahn’s joke, but how members of the media are so quick to take a quote out of context to create false drama.
Here’s my quick take on Kahn…
– The guy has gotten a dealt a merciless hand by the media. Rubio/Flynn back-to-back wasn’t ideal, but it was far from the biggest Wolves draft day debacle (see Foye for Roy, Marbury for Allen, Ndudi Ebi – all products of Kevin McHale). Everyone assumes that Rubio balked at coming to the Wolves because they drafted Flynn, but in reality, his shot at coming over right away due to his big buy-out were slim at best. If Ricky was that dead-set on coming to the NBA, he would have come regardless. Furthermore, if Johnny Flynn really was the thing that tilted the scales to send Ricky back to Spain, how was Kahn supposed to know that Rubio would be such a primadona and react that way? The way I see it, the Kahn Man gets next to zero credit for actually swinging the deal that allowed the Wolves to pick Ricky in the first place, and all anyone focuses on is how he “drove Rubio back to Spain”.
Also, the Darko deal is ridiculously overblown. Even if it was a “bad” deal, there were so many more ridiculously bad contracts signed last summer that Darko’s deal should be an afterthought. I’d much rather have Darko at $4M per year (pretty decent actually for a starting center) than Joe Johnson’s insane contract.
Basically, no matter what Kahn does, it’s always getting blown way out of proportion. The guy simply can’t win in the eyes of the media.
– However, and this is a big HOWEVER, David Kahn has now been the Wolves’ GM for two years and has to have realized that the media loves ripping him to shreds. Yet somehow, he keeps giving them more and more ammunition. If I knew that the press was going to pounce on every little thing I said, I’d probably refrain from hinting that the lottery might be rigged, that Michael Beasley smokes too much weed, that Darko Milicic was “manna from heaven”, that Ricky Rubio was absolutely going to come over in two years when in all likelihood there would be a major lockout that co-incided with his opt-out period, that I was going to make all of these “huge” moves in the summer of 2010 when the list of free agents looking to take up residence in Minnesota was all but non-existent, that I was trading Al Jefferson for eight cents on the dollar to set my team up for a big deadline move that I knew my cheap owner would never let me make… And the list goes on and on…
– My final point is that David Kahn has got to go. He hasn’t done a great job as the team’s GM, but he hasn’t submarined the ship either like McHale did on multiple occasions. However, his continued presence is just a PR nightmare. The T-Wolves are considered to be the joke of the entire league, in large part because of Kahn’s buffoonery. Teams aren’t going to want to make legit deals with us and players aren’t going to want to come here as long as the Wolves are viewed as one step above the D-league. Multiple times this season, “Minnesota” has been used by somebody as a derisive term. LeBron James wants to contract our team. Mike D’Antonio said that Rondo wouldn’t be a good player if he was a Timberwolf instead of a Celtic. There is a pervasive negative opinion about the Timberwolves’ franchise, and it starts with the man who is the head decision-maker for this team.
The bottom line is that, justly or unjustly, people are never going to take David Kahn seriously. As long as he’s the team’s GM, the same can be said for the Timberwolves as well.