Rambis doin’ homework

Benjamin Polk —  June 20, 2011 — 6 Comments

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I must confess that, for me as someone who writes about basketball, this is a difficult time of year.  One of my least favorite elements of sports journalism is the feverish rumor-mongering and scoop chasing that goes on around the draft and the trade deadline. After all, its hard to have anything substantial to say about information that is really nothing more than a whisper in the wind. If we really want to know how it turns out, all we need to do is just wait until Thursday when (nearly) everything will be illuminated.

At the same time, though, its hard to resist our own curiosity and fascination at what is probably the essential, decisive annual moment of Timberwolves fanhood. And the rumors are certainly afoot. Names like Pau Gasol, DeMar DeRozan and Javale McGee have all been floated, rescinded, revived. There has been talk of Derrick Williams (obvs), but also Kyrie Irving (should Cleveland snap up Williams), Enes Kanter (should the Wolves trade down) and others. This is a crucial moment and nobody knows whats going to happen. Its an effing mystery.

Concurrent with this is the ongoing Kurt Rambis fiasco. Its been reported that the cause for the long delay in deciding Rambis’ fate is the fact that David Kahn had asked Rambis to prepare an exhaustive report on his planned changes for next season. Well, the two have apparently finally met to discuss said report and a decision would appear to be forthcoming. In the meantime, Dwane Casey (who was my hope for Rambis’ replacement should the axe belatedly fall) is reportedly off to Toronto, Larry Brown is evidently offering his services (wow, what a terrible idea that would be) and the Wolves¬† once again appear heading toward a draft without a head coach. Is it just me, or is this getting kind of stupid?

Here is my one question about this: how is it that Kahn, who supposedly communicated closely with Rambis throughout the year (which, remember, is really long and offers ample evidence from which to make judgements), would not already know Rambis’ plans? If this really is all about basketball and not just a ploy to save money during the lockout, how can it possibly be this difficult to make this decision? Sigh.

Benjamin Polk

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6 responses to Rambis doin’ homework

  1. Los Lobos Del Bosque June 20, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Sigh, indeed.

  2. Two words for you: Moor and Taylor.

    The common thread for the abysmal and often inexcusable failures of this team lie at the very, very top. For whatever reason, Glen Taylor is an idiot at running this business. He’s blinded by some idiosyncratic brand of loyalty and nepotism, pursuing his basketball dreams in a reality only Don Quixote could relate to. Who knows if Pancho Moor is simply riding some coattails or fighting dragons/windmills himself. The one consistent thing about Glen (and Moor by association – the opacity of his role and influence with this team really bugs me) is that he can’t stop himself from meddling and that he doesn’t hire good people or fire people appropriately (hold them accountable).

    Take McHale – the entire NBA knew for years…YEARS…that the time for new blood had come and yet Taylor kept him on. Taylor meddled with Joe Smith and cost this team dearly. He meddled with KG during the first contract, going public with the negotiations to try and get some leverage. He’s texting Dwayne Casey, ostensibly throwing fire on the rumors that Casey might be our next coach…which who knows if that’s what Kahn wants. And herein lies the ultimate reason why Sam Hinkie or Dennis Lindsay walked away from this job – who wants to work for an owner who will subvert your authority and not let you do (as the whim hits him) the job you were hired to do? What’s Glen going to do, fire himself? Nope, he’ll fire his GM.

    I wonder if Kahn shares one important trait with McHale, and that is indulging in Taylor’s whims? These guys have figured out that if you can put up with Taylor you can last a long time. I don’t think Kahn is the reason why Rambis is fluttering in the wind. Not much in Kahn’s track record suggests that he’s hesistant to pull the trigger on trading, firing, or releasing somebody. His end of season press conference made his feelings pretty well know. However, an owner who doesn’t want to pay multiple coaches and therefore putting restrictions on Kahn does make a lot of this fall into place. And doing what in good ingratiate would do, Kahn is getting Rambis to develop a paper trail for future accountability so that Kahn can fire him with cause in the future, with or without Glen’s blessing.

    It’s ridiculous, childish, hopeless. If this team ever finds success again it will be inspite of Glen and Moor, not because of it. People target Kahn, but he ultimately isn’t the problem.

  3. Really interesting idea, B2B. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I love this blog. It will be a nice change of pace when we can talk nicely about this team. Unfortunately, It seems like a long ways away……

  5. I’ve commented on occasion about being a Lakers’ fan first, but also a follower of this team and more so, of this blog. With the recent trade rumors between teams, I’ve been wondering how it’s playing here and finally clicked on. Am happy to see that “it”and everything else, is still being reported in the usual fashion – smart, funny and always engaging.

  6. Why thank you, sir. Much appreciated.

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