Wolves at Blazers tonight, so it’s a late 9:00 tip-off. I recommend eating the nuked-up turkey now so you have ample time to nap off the tryptophan before Love-Aldridge XXVI (all Roman Numerals approximate). There’s something of a rivalry between these teams, but it has more to do with the front offices than any epic playoff series (unfortunately). The teams flipped draft picks in 2006, with Brandon Roy sealing the one-sided fate of this intradivision matchup for years to come. As Wolves fans now know all too well, Roy’s knees eventually broke down, but not before he inflicted years of pain on the Wolves. Without looking this up, I think they beat us every single time we matched up after the Garnett trade, before Ricky Rubio resurrected the Timberwolves franchise last year. But the personnel tension extends beyond Brandon Roy.
Tag Archives: david kahn
The 5-4 record of the Minnesota Timberwolves is defined by crosswinds: In one direction blows a continuous breeze of injuries: damaged knees, bizarre knuckle and foot ailments, an ankle sprain (to a player seemingly-immune to such things), with the sum being a depleted roster and lots of improvisation we didn’t expect. The other blows all the way from Eastern Europe – Moscow to be exact, improbably flitting CSKA stars Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved into Timberwolves POBO David Kahn’s lap all the way over here in Minneapolis.
Kirilenko and Shved have exceeded expectations and helped the Wolves team gather needed wins in a competitive Western Conference. Kirilenko is the team’s MVP by a wide margin, thriving under Rick Adelman’s player-movement offense, perhaps to a degree never reached before in his career, even in his prime as a member of the Utah Jazz.
Kirilenko is playing at a high level, and is being paid as such; last offseason, he inked a two-year deal worth $20 Million, which includes a player option on the second year – worth about $10.2 Million – allowing him to explore free agency if he chooses. All things considered, it isn’t a great contract, only because with the level of play he’s quickly reached, we would all wish he were locked up for 3-4 years instead of just one.
Shved’s contract, on the other hand, is looking mighty fine.
Illustration by Howard Shum. Go check it out.
Paul George is good at professional basketball. Really good.
We’ve raved before about George’s underrated defensive prowess, but it’s worth reiterating: George can defend the hell out of the ball. George has those extremely long arms, that effortless footwork, and excellent positioning that, on a good day, might remind you of Scottie Pippen.
The Wolves will have to contend with George tonight, when the Wolves take on the Pacers at Target Center at 7 PM. But they won’t just have to plan for George’s disruptive defense…
So, James Harden. Yep. Gone. OKC is screwed. Or is it? You’ll find out in my Western Conference preview.
But first things first: Why did OKC trade one of its core stars, just before the season starts, and why was it that the Rockets were the ones who outbid the rest for Harden, a pricy commodity in a market that has few quality shooting guards.
The answer to the first is easy: cost. OKC owner Clay Bennett was unwilling to pay it, James Harden was unwilling to take less so he wouldn’t have to, and so a trade had to be made, even if not paying Harden might cost the Thunder an NBA title. This sends a horrible message to fans, and Durant and Westbrook should grab their mates and move the team back to Seattle.
The answer to the second is less clear. But I have a theory. It centers around Kevin McHale, Royce White, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and facial hair.
My theory goes like this: Having drafted point-forward Royce White, and subsequently discovering that Royce won’t be bringing much to the table this season (except increased awareness of the challenges of anxiety disorders), McHale and Daryl Morey concluded that in lieu of on-court competitiveness, they would rekindle Houston’s rivalry with the up-and-coming Timberwolves.
They would do so by attacking an area of perceived Wolves vulnerability: facial hair.
McHale and Morey figured that after former Wolves beard Brad Miller – a former Rocket – retired, the Wolves’ claim to “Best Team Facial Hair” was up-for-grabs. Why not try to win something this season, and make White useful, all in one go? By trading for Harden’s beard, and teaming it up with White’s – White’s nascent beard already could put many Taliban to shame, and they go all-in on beards - in the NBA’s new Beard & Mustache Competition, which will be broadcast live just before the NBA Draft Lottery in the Spring, Houston has begun pursuing that strategy.
But McHale and Morey’s strategy is flawed. It neglects the fact that Kahn has armed the Wolves with a new Secret Weapon – a failsafe - in the form of Louis Amundson’s beard. In fact, RUMINT obtained by punchdrunkwolves.com indicates that Amundson’s beard has never lost in the “Most Pungent” competition in any Beard & Mustache Contest it has participated in.
Facial hair aside, there’s obviously a big story here: when you remove James Harden from the Thunder, it shifts the balance in the West, and also has implications for the Wolves. So what is the fallout? Find the answers to those questions and more in my Western Conference preview, located below the fold.
Let’s do a quick back of the envelope scorecard of David Kahn’s performance.
Selecting Jonny Flynn over Steph Curry. Check.
Trading Ty Lawson. Check.
Selecting Wes Johnson over DeMarcus Cousins or Greg Monroe. Double check.
Hiring Kurt Rambis. Check.
Long-term contract for Darko Milicic. Check.
Each move was, as the saying goes, an “epic fail.” And each is solely attributed to David Kahn, Timberwolves POBO.
Kahn has become something of a sports management sensation, not only for surviving these blunders, but for coupling them with public-speaking gaffes that have provided endless amounts of material for sportswriters and bloggers the world around. Continue reading
With training camp just around the corner, there are a bunch of top-level questions that remain unanswered as October 2nd approaches. There’s been a ton turnover on the roster, and many players’ roles are anything but clear. Long story short, the team’s success this season will likely hinge on the answers.
In a two-part series, I look at the ten questions I think are most important heading into the 2012-13 season. More below the fold.
Patrick J: Lots of Wolves activity of late: Beasley’s gone, Roy’s in, and the fun has just begun.Good or no good?
Andy G: Before I dig into last night’s wave of Blazers-Wolves free agency warfare, I’ll say my piece about de boi Mike Beasley.
Andy G: Chad Ford posted his Mock 8.0 today. Wolves take Fab Melo of Syracuse (!!!) at Number 18, immediately followed by the enigma from Baylor, Perry Jones III.
If you know anything about David Kahn, and if you know anything about Perry Jones III, you know that it would absolutely crush our POBO–perhaps to the point of tearful pouting–to have this type of LENGTH AND ATHLETICISM suffer the Adelman Family Veto.
What do you think? (more below the fold)
This coming October marks the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when President John Kennedy was faced with fresh knowledge of missile bases in Cuba. (Yes, I know I’ve now begun consecutive posts with “anniversary” sentences. Don’t ask me.) JFK quickly assembled a panel to meet in secret and decide on appropriate measures. The three basic choices were an airstrike on the weapons base, a full invasion of Cuba, or a naval blockade. After days of debate and internal struggle, Kennedy decided against an attack on Cuba, instead opting for a naval blockade. This was against the overwhelming consensus of his panel which included officials of intelligence, military and finance. Kennedy’s primary concern was that an attack on Cuba would be met with a nuclear response on Berlin, commencing an all-out nuclear war in Western Europe and possibly America. The prez’s decision could not have been more correct, as the blockade prompted talks with Khrushchev that resulted in the removal of weapons from Cuba. In his recently-published, Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, Chris Matthews explained:
It was later learned that the Soviets had deposited in Cuba a disturbing cache of nuclear weapons in early October, well before the Kennedy administration had the photographic evidence that spurred it into action. There were ninety nuclear warheads in all. Thirty of them possessed sixty-six times the explosive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. There was an equal number of warheads with the firepower of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, plus an assortment of other, smaller ones.
Matthews, Chris. Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. Simon & Schuster, 2011 (p. 317-18).
Matthews then quotes from Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs:
“If a quarter or even a tenth of our missiles survived–even if only one or two big ones were left-we could still hit New York, and there wouldn’t be much of New York left. I don’t mean to say everyone in New York would be killed–not everyone, of course, but an awful lot of people would be wiped out…And it was high time that America learned what it feels like to have her own land and her own people threatened…
The Americans knew that if Russian blood were shed in Cuba, American blood would surely be shed in Germany.”
Kennedy’s foresight, courage and restraint prevented nuclear war and preserved world peace.
So what the hell does this have to do with Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations, David Kahn, you ask? Continue reading