And the mainstream press reaction is mostly negative. The main reason seems to be that Kahn was not the Wolves first choice. Shockingly, the borderline comedic antics of the Wolves over the past few years hasn't been the recipe for drawing in First Choices. Or Second Choices. Or possibly Third Choices. Also, Kahn hasn't been in the NBA for a number of years, unless you count the NBDL.
Wolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda describes Kahn thusly: "a former Portland, Ore., newspaper columnist and NBA national writer turned lawyer who last worked full time in the NBA in 2002."
Old Man Sid Hartman also points out the lack of first choice factor. But he "knows" that Kahn will "offer" the job of coach to McHale, but McHale will probably "refuse" it. Of course, to prove Hartman wrong, it would take some sort of public urination on McHale to refute his version. Of course, McHale won't be back, and of course they will go through some public show of having him retire or some such thing.
Souhan says, "Kahn brings ... what? A close, personal relationship with commissioner David Stern?"
Zgoda seems to hedge on the idea that Kahn was a last minute pick: "Kahn appeared to be one of the top candidates more than two weeks ago, but Taylor and Wolves CEO Rob Moor turned last week to Portland assistant general manager Tom Penn. The Wolves resumed discussions with Kahn shortly after Penn turned down the job Monday. San Antonio assistant GM Dennis Lindsey and former Miami GM Randy Pfund also interviewed but withdrew." It appears Kahn has always been on the Wolves' radar. Maybe he was a safety school, I don't know.
Those are Strib columnists who are quickly pooping on Kahn. But what of the Twin Cities other "newspaper", The Pioneer Press. Shockingly, against all odds, a reasonable, unreactionary argument seems to be coming from stupid fat fuck Tom Powers, who noted that Kahn wasn't the first choice but says, "here's what Kahn brings to the table: business savvy, a close relationship with commissioner David Stern, an abundance of connections from his days with the Pacers and in the development league, and experience in virtually every level of basketball operations. The other candidates were basketball men. Kahn is a businessman with particular expertise in the field of basketball. I'll bet this turns out to be a good hire."
God, this feels weird for me to say, but I'm inclined to side with Tom Powers, even if he is a stupid fat fuck. And even though he also hits upon the whole "Three other guys turned down the Wolves" meme, which doesn't seem entirely fair.
That said, I don't know shit about the pluses and minuses of management. I agree with Powers that having a GM who has spent some significant time with the NBDL isn't a bad thing--he could have a pipeline to some serious diamonds in the rough. Also, whilst everyone at the Star Tribune has been harping on the fact that Kahn hasn't had a management position with an NBA team since 2002, it seems only fair to mention that Kevin McHale has a position in management all those years, gaining experience, getting smarter, in theory, and it didn't help the Wolves a whole lot. The Joe Smith affair? Giving T-Hud the fucking store? Trading away a first round pick to pay big money to Marko Jaric? Trading the rights to Brandon Roy? All those things happened with an experienced NBA veteran who had been in the front office since before Kevin Garnett was drafted, 13 years ago. If there is a franchise in the world who should give less than two shits about number of recent undistinguished years of service to the NBA, it is the Wolves.
All of said, I stand by my thesis from the previous paragraph--I don't know shit about management. I'll reserve my opinion on Kahn--KAAAAAAHHHNNN!--until the best Wolves writer in the country, Britt Robson, weighs in.
update: Britt has weighed in. He's taking a wait and see attitude, which seems about right. For the truly obsessive, he's also got David Kahn's press conference transcript.