Timberwolves’ Rambis Expects to be Fired; ESPN’s Mark Jackson Next?

Indications are that current Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis is expected to be fired.

But when?

According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the timetable of the firing is uncertain, but it seems as though players are becoming disgruntled with Rambis’ leadership. [Read more…]

5 Fearless Predictions on the Minnesota Timberwolves Season

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The Minnesota Timberwolvesk wrapped up their 2010 pre-season with a 6-2 record. Most bandwagon Wolves fans think this is far from carrying any meaning, and who can blame them? They’re coming off a 2009-10 campaign in which only one team (New Jersey Nets, 12-70) had a worse record than their 15-67 mark. It’s natural to put little faith in a solid pre-season.

It would be quite the uphill battle to try and convince Wolves nation that it will carry over into significant regular season improvements. Trying to preach optimism doesn’t go over well to a fan base whose former face of the franchise is now with division rival Utah, and budding superstar is still in Spain.

[Read more…]

The Wolves Got Kahned

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“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn’t exist”

By Peter Christian

That is a line from one of my favorite movies of all time and has recently been running through in my head over and over. Not because I have an inkling to watch “The Usual Suspects” but because a man that I believe to be more divinely stupid and evil than anyone -other than Bernie Madoff or Spencer Pratt- struck again. David Kahn just picked up his limp and revealed himself to be the true Keyser Soze. The final straw has been broken.

Any faith I had left in the Timberwolves front office in taking steps towards turning their current puddle of piss situation around went away with the relatively minor signing by Philadelphia of Timberwolves free agent Rodney Carney. On its own, the official departure of Carney would have meant nothing to me (OK that’s not true, I really liked Carney last year and thought he could have been a good wing option for a team really thin in that area), but it was just another piece of evidence that David Kahn (Timberwolves VP of Basketball Ops since the end of May) is completely void of logic, basketball knowledge and any semblance of a plan whatsoever. Every Wolves headline has been proof that Kahn is a first class buffoon that has no business making a decision of which brand of toothpaste to buy, let alone being the sole man in charge of rebuilding the joke of a basketball team that the Minnesota Timberwolves have become.

It started with the way he handled the booting of Kevin McHale, continued with the trade of Randy Foye and Mike Miller for a stock pile of bad contracts and the 5th pick in the draft. At face value that trade could have been a winner. Instead Kahn sullied the situation by drafting the best point guard who’s already proved he can play with the best of the NBA by then following up and taking another top billed point guard. Instead of being in a position to have some youthful talent at two positions, Kahn loaded up at the same position and pissed off the prospect with a higher ceiling so much that he didn’t even come to the team.

Then there was the coach hired to run an offense that he hasn’t ever coached, the trade of three fan favorites for a player that filled a weakness and also gave the team another expiring contract and then the re-trade of that player for another expiring contract but at a position that helps the team about as much as I need an eyeball on the arch of my left foot. 86343355JP006_DRAFTPORTRAITS

In short, Kahn has turned a 24 win team that struggled to fill seats last year into a team that will be lucky to win 20 games and can’t even sell $5 seats. The Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor should be ready to go Mt. St. Helens on Kahn’s ass as he is prepping the team to lose more money than it has ever lost since Taylor bought the team in 1994. He should also be pissed as hell that Kahn turned two very valuable assets into a prospect that wants no part of the team. And David Kahn took on three turds with bad contracts to boot. Yet somehow has remained mum. I know if it was my money that Kahn was pissing away I’d be beating him with a rubber hose and throwing rocks at his teeth right now.
Worse than everything is Kahn’s arrogant attitude. In every interview he has given since being hired on May 22nd 2009 (when we started listening to the tale that Verbal Kint/Keyser Soze started spinning) Kahn has spoken to the interviewer as if they were a 4 year old child with a learning disability. If Kahn spoke to me like that, I would pull his eyeballs out through his earholes. I know I’m no NBA GM, but I know at least 2 dozen people who are able to hold their own in a conversation about basketball better than Kahn can.

Kahn may have fooled Glen Taylor and a select few of the media here in Minnesota, but not me. I know that his last name is simply just a phonetically spelled pronunciation of what he is trying to do to the Timberwolves. He messed up the Ricky Rubio situation so badly that it will be at least 2 years until he plays for the Wolves, but probably more (if at all) and if he is planning on just using his rights as an asset for another trade (if he does that it will screw up the franchise even more). Because it will be at the lowest point of Rubio’s value.

Kahn’s plan to build a winning basketball team has about as much chance to succeed as Gary Coleman in an Olympic High Jump event. He apparently never grasped the concept of “Buy Low, Sell High” and we should probably thank our lucky stars that he isn’t a manager of a hedge fund, a mutual fund advisor or a financial planner. In less than four months he has killed the Timberwolves chances at improving from last year. Remember, at one point Minnesota was one of the hottest teams in basketball before Al Jefferson got hurt. Kahn has completely demoralized any fan base that was left after the last couple seasons of suck with a completely illogical theory of “Buy High, Sell Low.”

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I don’t know what kind of screw job the Timberwolves/Glen Taylor put on Kahn in his former life, but he is returning the favor with gusto now. Keyser Soze would be proud.

Kurt Rambis & The Minnesota Timberwolves: Another David Kahn Follie?

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By Peter Christian

For the last week, every time I turned on the TV, radio, opened up my internet browser or looked at my Twitter feed I’ve found myself muttering the following three words under my breath: “Kurt Rambis? Really?”

Today, Rambis and the Minnesota Timberwolves made their merger official as the former Lakers assistant accepted the vacant Head Coach position for the team and thereby made me repeat the phrase yet again (by my count the 153rd time in 5 days), except this time with more gusto and loud enough that my mailman heard me say it from my living room.

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Look, it’s not like I don’t like the hiring. I certainly like Rambis as the Timberwolves coach more than a candidate like Mark Jackson, but my hesitation to buy in, or “Drink the Kool-Aid” (not a rip-off of Miller Park Drunk), is that I still don’t know what Kurt Rambis brings to the team. I had the same feelings about the team hiring David Kahn as GM in May and to this point have been unfortunately proven to be right that he was probably the wrong hire. Maybe the win-loss record will change my feelings but with the roster and outlook that Kahn has created in less than 3 months don’t give me much hope. The hiring of the former player that was famously clothes lined by the former player that previously held the power that Kahn now wields and most recently held the seat that Rambis will fill (Kevin McHale) is great for irony’s sake, but how does it help progress a team that is young and in need of serious structure, development and guidance?

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Sure, Rambis comes from a culture of winning and it is always good to bring in winners and yes, I’m aware that he has experience as a head coach in the NBA (minimal as it may be) but when was the last time you heard a young player say, “I really need to thank Coach Rambis for helping me become a better NBA player” or, “If it wasn’t for Coach Rambis teaching me x or y I never would have been the player I was?”

Truth is the majority of Rambis’ praise comes from people who don’t play the game. Writers and sports talk radio hosts have given a thumbs up on the hire here in Minnesota, I’m not ready to follow suit. Kahn has said that he chose Rambis because he will conform to all three determining factors Kahn requires from his coach (player development, up-tempo team, play youth even at the expense of wins) which says to me that Rambis was hired more for his willingness to “play ball” with Kahn and for his name recognition around the league (versus who I believe was the best candidate).

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Full disclosure: I was less than an iota away from being completely sold on Elston Turner. In my eyes I believe more in the Rockets assistant’s ability in coaching and bringing along young players in the NBA. The debate of Rambis vs. Turner comes down to one key point. Head to head as top assistants for top teams in the Western Conference, Turner has been involved with the coaching of and development of more youthful players than Rambis has (quick, name me a rookie or 2nd year player that has flourished under the guidance of Rambis in the last decade. Can’t do it? Didn’t think so). Since the Timberwolves are chocked full of young players, don’t you think that David Kahn would want a guy who has a better track record of developing young players? Then again, logic hasn’t proven to be ingrained in the ether of David Kahn (you knew I was going to take that shot at Kahn eventually).

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Rambis could be a very good coach for the Timberwolves; I just think that he wasn’t the best choice. I personally feel like Kahn was more attached to the more recognizable name and was enamored with the whole “Rambis replaces McHale” angle and selected his coach on that basis.

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Unfortunately for Elston Turner he must bide his time and hope that his opportunity will come shortly. Unfortunately for my argument, Turner isn’t in a position where he can actively prove me right and Kahn wrong. Fortunately for the Timberwolves they have a coach and can now begin the process of becoming an actual NBA team. Or at least a shell of one.