Patrick Reusse: Kahn's wrap-up best entertainment of season

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 14, 2011 - 12:59 AM

In a performance worthy of an ovation, the Wolves boss talked of fine-tuning and of optimism.

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David Kahn, Timberwolves president of basketball operations, assessed on Wednesday his second season of work. “We’re done turning over,” Kahn told reporters.

Photo: Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

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There was a news conference at Target Center late Wednesday morning in which David Kahn promised to summarize his second season in charge of the Timberwolves' on-court product.

Kahn offered a preamble and then answered questions for 40 minutes. When he was finished, the room full of reporters failed in our duty. We should have risen as one to give the man a standing ovation.

The Wolves were 10 1/2 hours from completing the worst two-season stretch in the history of a franchise with some impressively poor two-season stretches. And yet Kahn peered through the carnage and said:

"I think the feeling around the league -- putting aside the customer base, the fan base -- is that this is a team on the come."

That's a very interesting concept, when you consider that the Wolves started their existence by firing coach Bill Musselman for winning too much in the first two seasons. They then spent the next two seasons dedicated to attaining the best draft choices, posting records of 15-67 in 1991-92 and 19-63 in 1992-93.

The combined 34 victories proved too high of a mountain to climb for Kahn's troops -- 15-67 in 2009-10 and 17-65 after Wednesday night's 2010-11 finale.

Kahn was hired on May 22, 2009. Only Kevin Love remains from the group he inherited, unless you want to count Sebastian Telfair, who was here in April 2009, was traded, came back and now will be leaving again.

Asked about two years of constant change with personnel, Kahn said:

"We're done turning over. ... We no doubt have a lot of fine-tuning to do this summer, but I don't want to mistake fine-tuning with an overhaul. We're done with that. There are a lot of players on this roster that all of us really likes, and the community likes, and I think they are the kinds of players that will be here for many, many years to come."

For some reason, Kahn's fine-tuning remarks got me thinking about my first car -- a 1954 Chevy that I bought from my Aunt Peggy for $100. The Chevy went through a few mishaps and yet the blue bomber kept working.

Finally came a day when it was fired up and a blade came off the fan. It sliced through the hood and went skyward as if it was a Vanguard 1 satellite.

And my reaction was: "Aunt Peggy's Chevy needs a significant tuneup."

Now, all these years later, David Kahn sees a product with dents and tears and missing pieces, and he says in many, many words: "We're not quite perfect yet; we could use a tuneup."

It was clear Wednesday that a major element of the tuneup will be the departure of coach Kurt Rambis. You don't run into this often: news conferences where a coach finds out that he's going to be fired without the words actually being spoken.

Kahn: "I certainly have some ideas, some thoughts and some notions. ... I also feel more determined than ever, this won't happen again. We cannot let this happen again. The status quo is not acceptable. It's just not."

Rambis: Strike one on the outside corner.

Kahn: "... I felt the team was improving dramatically individually. And then for whatever reason, tracing back to the week before the All-Star break and the week after, it just stopped. And I don't know why."

Rambis: Strike two on the inside corner.

Kahn: "... This is a very different team than a year ago, but this is two years in a row where, for whatever reason, the team didn't improve as the season wore on. I think you can make a fair argument that a young team probably should show even more team improvement as the season winds down than an older team."

Rambis: Strike three, right down the gut.

And yet after this litany of failings, Kahn came with a punch line worthy of Bill Maher's "New Rules" when he said:

"I don't think this should disturb any of the optimism and the good feelings that at least I have and I hope a lot of people here share, maybe not in this room but in the community, that this team is headed in the right direction."

Bravo, bravo.

Come on, Glen Taylor. Let's pony up immediately for a Kahn extension. The guy is a hoot.

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500ESPN. • preusse@startribune.com

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Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 7
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 5
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4
Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96
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