While it’s a ton of fun to pile on to Alex Rodriguez, the NCAA and Jets quarterbacks, few figures in sports are as reliable whipping boys as Kahn, the former president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. From 2009 to 2013, Kahn navigated the T-Wolves straight into the ground. And every new story that comes out regarding his time in the Twin Cities paints Kahn as even more incompetent than the last.
This latest one must make a T-Wolves fan want to throw his Tom Gugliotta autographed basketball against a wall. In his very first year at the helm, Kahn utilized four first-round picks in a relatively deep draft to nab three point guards — yes, three — between picks No. 5 and 18. With back-to-back picks, the Wolves took Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio because Kahn envisioned them as their generation’s version of Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe.
You reaction to that previous sentence was probably similar to Minnesota assistant Dave Wohl‘s the first time he heard Kahn make such an absurd statement.
“Wohl described Flynn as a good, ambitious kid,” Jonathan Abrams writes on Grantland. “He also said that Rubio and [No. 7 pick Stephen] Curry would have made a better pairing. He didn’t believe either Flynn or Rubio could perform at shooting guard.”
“No, no,” Kahn responded, according to Abrams. “I want to play Jonny and Rubio. They remind me of Frazier and Monroe.”
Wohl … disagreed. There were over a dozen options for Minnesota that would have been better fits than Flynn, at any position. DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Gerald Henderson, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson (who the Wolves drafted, then traded to Denver), Jeff Teague, Eric Maynor, Darren Collison, Taj Gibson, Danny Green, DeJuan Blair, Dante Cunningham, Marcus Thornton and numerous others who, unlike Flynn, are still in the NBA, were taken after the Wolves tabbed Flynn with the sixth pick.
Wohl told Kahn Flynn/Rubio and Frazier/Monroe was not “an accurate comparison,” but the boss got the final word.
“Yeah, it is,” Kahn responded. “They are two guys who can handle the ball.”
There it is. All it takes to create the next legendary backcourt, on par with Clyde and The Pearl, is to have two guys who can handle the ball. Two years later, the Wolves did exactly as the Knicks did in Frazier and Monroe’s second season together, and won an NBA championship.
Or they did precisely the opposite of that and finished in last place. Same thing, right?
H/T to ProBasketballTalk