Everyone enjoys a good story. Except David Kahn.
But before we go any further, let it be said that the man has a point. Abe Pollin’s widow and Dan Gilbert’s son weren’t ‘lucky’, they were pitiable. So much, in fact, that we couldn’t bear to watch life deal them another disappointment. Their tragedies were meant only to serve as a prologue to glory; for such is the magic of the draft lottery in David Stern’s NBA. Look, my heart is all aflutter just typing it.
But it does seem a bit too…neat, no?
Kahn however, is neither neat nor pitiable. Practically every statement he makes is assured to bewilder, provoke or offend. Whether it be an acknowledgement of a player’s past or an assessment of their future, the man can’t help but provide us with fodder. So it should come as no surprise that his thoughts on last night’s proceedings have raised a few eyebrows.
“This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines,” 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 Kevin: ‘We’re toast.’ This is not happening for us and I was right.”
The underlying implication is clear: The draft is rigged. Surely Kahn will be fined for either tampering with the league’s mandated narrative or merely suggesting that they have one. However, he should also be asked if this is the prologue to yet another variation of his oft repeated mantra: It’s not my fault.
In this instance, indeed it isn’t. Yet that shouldn’t shield him from any scorn if he bungles another lottery pick, which isn’t far from likely. Kahn has managed cap space well and seemingly gotten the better end of a few trades, but the draft remains his undoing. He’s picked sixth or higher three times in the last two drafts with only one All-Rookie Second Team appearance to show for it. He passed on six All-Rookie First Team members in that same span.
Yet despite such failings and the .200 winning percentage to match, Kahn is adamant that the blame shouldn’t lie with him. The talent is here, he insists, they’re just young and perhaps in need of a better coach. Rubio is coming, we’re assured, and once he arrives our high octane offense will have its conduit.
All the talk of patience, progress and prospects serves only to buy Kahn time. Time to woo his reluctant savior and maybe even happen upon another fortuitous trade. Who knows? He might pull it off. It was just a short time ago that Chris Wallace was the league’s resident boob and you’d be hard pressed to find a critic now.
If he doesn’t pull it off? Hell, everyone loves a good comedy, right?