(This is a true story. I have season tickets for the Timberwolves and I’m friends with a few people who work for the Wolves. Like people who claim to have seen Bigfoot, I realize that some people might call me “crazy” or a “liar” for telling this story, but I assure you this is not fiction.)
After the Wolves ended their season at 17-65 with a 121-102 loss to the Houston Rockets, Timberwolves players stayed on the court to appreciate the fan base (or what is left of a fan base) who had stuck with them this very difficult season. They gave out Wolves shirts, gear, jerseys, headbands, and all sorts of memorabilia. The players had smiles on their faces, but the pain was visible. This was the first time that I had seen a look of pain or angst in any of the players this season, other than Kevin Love. Does it mean anything? Maybe. It could also mean nothing. Who knows? All I know is that the status quo has changed. There was no “on to the next loss” look on their faces or “we’ll get the next one” gleam in their eyes. These guys had a noticeable chip on their shoulders and that is something that they desperately need to carry with them next season. Winning hasn’t come easy, especially for this team this year. But the good thing is, the only way to go from here is up.
As I waited for the exits of the Target Center unclutter, I found myself sitting next to the famous (or is it infamous?) David Kahn. I had seen him at all of the home games before, but I’m not the kind of person to bother someone for no reason but to shake their hand or get an autograph, etc. Heck, I don’t even ask the players for autographs before games because I don’t want to take them out of their “zone.” But that’s beside the point. He could tell I recognized him, so I felt sort of inclined to say something.
But before I could say anything to him, he let out a long sigh before haphazardly asking, “Well, what do you think?” This probably wasn’t him asking me for managerial advice, and I knew this. I replied by saying, “Well.. The season’s over. We can only get better, right?”
He liked my optimism, and this was evident when he responded with “I like your optimism.”
Over the next five to ten minutes, he and I talked back and forth about the Wolves (past and present and future). He didn’t talk about the upcoming draft, not that I didn’t try to get him to though. When I asked about Rubio, Kahn said, “He’s coming.” Then I said, “He HAS to. That would be huge for us. But what happens if there’s a lockout? Would he come?” To this, Kahn replied, “Like you said, he HAS to. And I’m certain he will.” It seemed as though some of my optimism had rubbed off on him (not that he wasn’t already optimistic about Ricky coming over next season), and I answered back with, “I like your optimism.”
After that, I told him that I had faith in the Timberwolves and I was excited about the upcoming years. I said, “I’ll be back next year.” Kahn countered with a smile, “Me too.”
I liked that. Poise is necessary in times of turbulence and instability, and he certainly has the poise. Say what you want about David Kahn and certain decisions he makes, but he definitely has a plan in place and, call me crazy, but I trust him.
I know you met him and all, and he charmed you succsessfully but he is still an idiot. That will never change, he drafted Rubio, Flynn, and Lawson and traded away Lawson the player who proves to be the best of them all right now. Then he drafted Flynn's buddy Wes Johnson over a handful of better players including quite arguably the best player in that draft DeMarcus Cousins. His god blessed, Vlade Divac incarnated dreams of Darko have not paid off. He also has put together a horrible defensive team with players that lack effort. Now he is resting his future of Minnesota on a young Ricky Rubio who guess what...wont save this ball team.
“Well.. The season’s over. We can only get better, right?”
Thats what you thought last year, and the year before that etc.
Im not picking on your boys, I really wanna see the wolves succeed. They have a large amount of talent, but what seperates winning teams from talented teams is effort, defense, and crucial moments. What your team does in crucial moments of the ball game, how will you respond when your opponent goes on a 10- run, how do you play with a cushion, can you close a game, will you consistantly be intense night in night out. These are the things that makes teams win and I doubt Rubio will change the Wolves immediatly.
Btw great read, sounds like you had a blast. I would love to have a conversation with Bryan Colengelo, or Kahn for that matter. He said nothing at all about the draft though?
No. Nothing about the draft, unfortunately. I did try though. Haha. He wasn't having any of it though.
And I know you're not picking on my Wolves, so don't worry. No love lost, man. I'm just an optimist, like I said before.
Heres to the Raptors and Wolves luck in the lottery, more so the Raptors...Cheers!
Being from Minnesota, we know the pain. I've gone to a couple of the games this year and when I watch the games, I look to analyze what's going on with the players on the court. I'm not seeing any bad plays really.. Mostly just sloppy plays, young mistakes, and some breakdowns on both sides of the court. This team has a lot of talent and even more potential. This team could really surprise people if we put together two solid drafts of drafting smartly. I think the way to do that is to no longer draft for what we NEED but who is the BEST. You look at our roster and you see a lot of picks from the draft from 2-10 and everywhere else in between but the thing is, we can't put together a winning season because we can't put together a team that can stay together, develop chemistry, and have the mentality to work hard. I would love to talk to Kahn to figure out what his plans are for this upcoming draft and most importantly next year's draft and if he is going to try to get his way back into position for a top 5 pick. I think you leave Kyrie Irving on the board in this draft and pick up Kanter to finally get a center and with next year's draft, do whatever we can to get Austin Rivers. We need a go-to player. These two guys could provide just what we need in the next years to become an actual threat to other teams.
I think moving forward onto next year, we give the nod to Flynn to run this team (I'm honestly expecting negatives just for that but I'm one of the few believers in him still) and let him develop with the team. I think we need to get rid of Rambis because his style of play doesn't fit this team at all and he doesn't have the defensive mind to make players get into a defensive stance (looking at Beasely here..). I think if we could get a coach that was heavy on the pick-and-roll game and was a defensive speacialist that will always be in the huddle during timeouts instead of on the bench scribbling on the board only to come in for the last few seconds to say, "We're doing find just keep your heads up and keep fighting." Honestly, looking at it from right now, we're a long ways away from being a threat. But a couple smart moves could put us into the late lottery picks for the 2012-2013 season and hopefully after that be a playoff contender. But right now, we need to take a hard look at this team and decide what we need, and what we don't. Starting off by trading Rubio, and firing Rambis.
I want to be a believer in Flynn, but I'm not anymore. He's as good as gone from what I've seen/heard from my sources (Kahn said nothing about Flynn except that his injury set him back "quite a bit").
Also, regarding Rambis.. I'd give him one more year. He and Love have a connection going on, and, believe it or not, he and Beasley have a very good relationship too. It's not that having a friend as a coach is a good thing, but what it does is to have the players be held accountable for their actions (not all late-game losses are coaching mistakes..the players need to execute).
Who knows though? I'm just an optimistic fan, really.
I think Wolves fans should be hoping to get kyrie irving. I think the Wolves should just trade away the rights to rubio and move foward the whole rubio thing is holding them back.
Love the Wolves but it kills me that they are so bad. It really just comes down to poor drafts, poor free agent signings, and a lack of vetern players to hold the team together. In short, all of those things come down to one person DAVID KAHN. I read somewhere on this page that the Wolves have a large amount of talent. Seriously you are being nice, they honestly dont. Maybe 2 NBA starters on the team rest would be bench players or role players.