Jim Souhan: Wake me when Wolves get something done

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 28, 2011 - 11:45 PM

When decisive action is needed for a beat-down franchise and fan base, David Kahn leaves things in a paralytic state.


Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn.

Photo: Richard Sennott, Star Tribune file

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When LeBron James chose a new team, he created a television show titled "The Decision."

When Wolves boss David Kahn has to decide what to do with the failed coach that he hired, he stars in a daily sitcom we should call "The Indecision."

On April 13, the Timberwolves lost their last game of the season, securing the worst record in the NBA, and Kahn held a hilarious press conference in which he implied that Kurt Rambis should be blamed for all of the Wolves' ills.

Since then, Kahn has failed to actually fire Rambis. Perhaps he hasn't had the time. After all, not much can happen over 45 days, other than ...

• The United States finding, then formulating a plan to kill, and then killing and disposing of Osama bin Laden, and periodically leaking tapes and information making Bin Laden look like a pathetic old man with porn and pot fetishes.

• The Twins sending half their roster to the disabled list and being eliminated from contention.

• Harmon Killebrew submitting to hospice care, dying and being celebrated over two weeks in three states.

• Francisco Liriano pitching a no-hitter and a bunch of many-hitters.

• Much of the United States getting battered by tornadoes and floods.

• The Houston Rockets finding a dozen coaching candidates, winnowing their list to three and conducting several series of interviews to pick just the right man.

• The Lakers hiring Mike Brown for the most prestigious job in the league.

• The Golden State Warriors hiring Jerry West as a consultant.

• Donald Trump announcing he is running for president, claiming to send investigators to Hawaii to check on the president's birth certificate, getting roasted at the White House correspondents' dinner, rescinding his candidacy, starring in a non-reality show and sending his hair to the dry cleaner's eight times.

• The NBA conducting 75 playoff games, a draft lottery and pre-draft workouts at Target Center during which Rambis showed up, apparently uninvited, and Kahn neither spoke with Rambis nor about his status.

Only the Timberwolves can embarrass themselves in such an obvious, public fashion. By failing to finalize a decision on Rambis, they created a scene in which Rambis could tweak Kahn in front of the NBA's elite talent evaluators and a bunch of draft prospects.

Two years after Kahn neglected to hire a coach before his first draft, then destroyed his franchise's chances for immediate improvement by running the draft himself, he is failing to hire a coach who he wants to work with before the draft. History repeats itself, but it's not supposed to repeat itself this quickly.

Kahn's latest fiasco raises this question: After his treatment of Rambis, would a quality coach even agree to work for him?

While Kahn appears to have no deadline for a decision on Rambis, he apparently has a deadine of Tuesday for trying to lure Ricky Rubio to the Wolves.

NBA rules on the matter are difficult to understand, and Rubio's situation in Spain remains murky. While we await answers, we once again can contemplate a series of questions that perhaps only the Wolves could raise:

• Did the Wolves overrate Rubio, as well as his willingness to play for them? According to objective sources, he has regressed as a player. He remains skinny and has failed to improve his shooting, although his proponents say he is one of those players who always winds up on winning teams and makes his teammates better.

• Why would Rubio want to leave sunny Spain to play for the worst team in the NBA, a team that has not identified its next coach, might have a lame-duck general manager, plays in a frozen city during the winter and has a reputation throughout the NBA for ineptitude?

Pro Basketball Talk has reported that Rubio "is expressing doubts about whether now is the right time to the NBA" and that if Rubio stays in Spain for another year, he would no longer be subject to the league's rookie wage scale.

The Wolves, though, constantly send out signals that they believe they will land Rubio.

If Kahn can't sign Rubio or trade him for high value, or if Rubio fails as an NBA player, the only NBA starter Kahn would have chosen with his first three first-round picks would be Ty Lawson, whom he traded to Denver.

So we wait for Kahn to make a decision on Rambis, and for Rubio to make a decision on the Wolves, and for Glen Taylor to finally blow up the worst franchise in sports. And while we wait, Rambis waits, too, knowing he might land the best gig in the business: getting paid to not work for the Timberwolves.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2:40 p.m. on 1500ESPN. His Twitter name is Souhanstrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

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