David Kahn Thinks The Lottery Was Rigged

David Kahn, left, general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin O'Connor, center, general manager of the Utah Jazz, and Nick Gilbert, 14, right, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, stand on the stage representing the final three teams during the 2011 NBA basketball draft lottery, Tuesday, May 17, 2011 in Secaucus, N.J. The Cavaliers won the lottery. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Minnesota Timberwolves’ boss David Kahn has worked tirelessly.  He’s put in a tremendous amount of effort, studied new concepts and consulted his peers.  And in the end, he’s been pretty successful… at making his run with the Timberwolves a complete laughing-stock.

Let’s put aside the drafting and trading for of every point guard in creation.  Let’s even look past giving $25 million to Darko Milicic… or even that he said this once: 

We think that Darko can actually get to sort of a near All-Star if not All-Star level. There’s not a lot of quality centers in our sport. There’s no reason to think that a year from now if Darkowere to continue his trajectory upwards, he couldn’t be in the mix about a year from now for the All-Star game.”

Mind you, Darko ended up playing just 24 minutes a game this year, averaging 8.8 points and 5.2 rebounds.  His rebounding rate of 11.9 put him in the “slightly above average” category of rebounders

But I digress. 

The latest “Kahn-tastrophy” came after yesterday’s NBA draft lottery, where he pretty much said the NBA rigs it.

“This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible storylines,” Kahn said. “Last year it was Abe Pollin’s widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told [Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor]: ‘We’re toast.’ This is not happening for us and I was right.”

Yep.  David Kahn took one look at Nick Gilbert, a teenager suffering from a nerve disease that riddles his body with tumors, and decided the league was out to get him and every non-Cleveland team because it made for a nice little story line for the night. 

Never mind that the Cavs actually had a very legitimate shot at the top pick with 19.9% chance… as compared to Minnesota’s 25%.  Never mind that this is actually the 14th time the T-Wolves have been in the lottery without grabbing the top spot and the 8th time they’ve fallen below their projected slot.  Never mind that the worst team in the league hasn’t won a draft lottery since 2004.  

Nope.  None of those things matter to Kahn.  He thinks he was jobbed out of the top spot because David Stern and his minions wanted everyone to have a warm, fuzzy moment over a cute kid bravely fighting a debilitating disease. 

It’s at this point where it’s perfectly OK… almost encouraged… to feel bad for Timberwolves fans. They’ve done nothing to deserve Kahn.  Yet there they are, foreheads a bright pink from being slapped by their palms after every Kahn embarrassment.  Heads hung in shame not from a losing season, but because they know who’s behind it all, and it provides them little hope that they’ll pull out of their funk.

And I’m sure the person most peeved by this entire thing is one David Joel Stern… who I’m sure will be making a large donation to an NBA Cares charity with Kahn’s impending fine money. Because you don’t accuse the NBA of rigging something without laying out a stacks of cash later. 

But I’m sure T-Wolves fans would gladly chip in to pay the fine if it meant taking Kahn with it. Because right now the only thing Kahn is good for in Minnesota is comic relief.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

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