He then re-signed Milicic over the offseason, pairing him up as another solid passing big man in an offense that relies on pivotmen to dish the ball expertly. That's good.
He also bid against himself, with no other suitors on the market, to sign Darko to a four-year, $20 million contract. The terms aren't too onerous, but with nobody offering anywhere near that, why hand him that cash? That's bad.
Kahn then haplessly talked Darko up during the NBA's Summer Leagues, comparing his situation to that of a young Chris Webber and his game to that of Vlade Divac's. I compared his tact to that of Anita Bryant's and his perspective to that of Alexander Haig's. That's bad.
Then, while sitting in with the (very good) Minnesota announcing duo of Tom Hannemen and Jim Petersen, Kahn let loose again. CBSSports.com's Ben Golliver was nice enough to transcribe the mess, as I was watching the Boston feed:
"I met with Darko today because I hadn't talked to him in awhile, and I think there's just still so much more to come. And I think that we expect it out of him. It's not enough, is what I'm trying to say. We think that Darko can actually get to sort of a near All-Star if not All-Star level. There's not a lot of quality centers in our sport. There's no reason to think that a year from now if Darko were to continue his trajectory upwards, he couldn't be in the mix about a year from now for the All-Star game."
First? Come on.
Secondly? COME ON.
Third? You really shouldn't follow up with talking about your starting center someday being "All-Star level" by pointing out that "there's not a lot of quality centers in our sport," directly after chalking Darko up as a one-day All-Star. That's simultaneously saying Darko can be an All-Star, and slightly above "quality" in the same breath. That's bad.
This is where Kahn just frustrates to no end. We really, really do like the young talent on the Timberwolves, and are honestly excited about Darko's jump to respectability after a terrible start to the season (he missed 29 of his first 35 shots to begin 2010-11). Milicic is working with averages of over nine points and five rebounds in half a game's worth of minutes, and his block percentage (the percentage of shots taken with him on the court that he rejects) of 7.3 leads the NBA.
But you have to leave the guy alone, David Kahn. Partly because initial expectations turned him into a lottery bust before he could legally buy a beer in this country, but mostly because these All-Star expectations just aren't feasible. He's 25, Yao Ming(notes) and Greg Oden(notes) may never play again, and Darko has finally found a home. But the All-Star game? Just be happy he isn't missing 29 of 35 shots anymore, and appreciate his eventual rise to the ranks of the pretty good as he enters his prime in a few years.
That is to say, people are watching and listening outside of Minnesota, David. And they have computers with connections to the Internet and everything.
(Thanks again to Ben Golliver for also uploading this video of the whole, sordid affair.)
- David Kahn