Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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In exit interview, Kahn gets last non-laugh on me

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: May 3, 2013 - 5:26 AM

I didn't mind David Kahn as much as many Timberwolves fans and folks in the local sports media. I thought that large vocabulary -- with the professorial delivery -- was humorous. A couple of years ago, at the end of a radio interview, I asked Kahn to use "bifurcate'' in a sentence, and he did it.

How bad a guy can you be if you're willing to say "bifurcate'' on the public airwaves, knowing that the host is doing so to make sport of you?

It was in another radio interview, with partner Phil Mackey and me, when I challenged Kahn's theory that Michael Beasley could come to Minnesota and be a productive player.

I don't have the transcript, but the question basically was, "We always hear that players like this are going to change, and they don't. Why should anyone believe that Beasley can change?''

Kahn said that Beasley had admitted to him smoking too much marijuana while in Miami, that Michael had vowed to stop smoking the weed, and Kahn was willing to give The Beasy a chance to prove it.

The NBA saw reports of this interview and fined Kahn $50,000 individually and the Timberwolves another 50 Gs as a team.

Kahn got robbed in that deal. He wasn't saying anything people didn't know, and he was actually talking up Beasley's potential. He was fined because of the NBA's embarrassment over its public perception as being home to large numbers of potheads.

When Beasley finally wound up in Phoenix before the start of this season, he told the media there that he was going to be a better player with the Suns because he had stopped smoking weed. The NBA should've sent back Kahn's $50,000 the same day Beasley gave that interview.

Also: What Kahn and the Suns have discovered about Beasley is that it's not marijuana intake but a complete failure in Basketball 101 that has transformed him from a No. 2 overall draft choice to a bust.

I'm not sure what Kahn was making as president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, but it wasn't so much that the $50,000 was a small item to him. Yet, he never mentioned it to me or showed bitterness when we encountered one another at Target Center.

And Thursday, when it became official that his contract was not being renewed, one of the radio interviews that Kahn did was with Mackey and me.

I tried to lighten up the close of  the interview with the suggestion that one lesson Kahn could take away from Minnesota was never to do "knuckle pushups.'' Promptly, David said he was not going to participate in a "ho, ho, ho'' at the expense of Kevin Love.

This was impressive, since the criticism he faced this season from Love was among the reasons Kahn was out of a job on Thursday.

We aren't exactly even after this latest interview, what with Kahn still being light that 50 grand, but his response to my attempt to get him to join in a Love cheap shot left me feeling like two cents, as should have been the case.

 

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