Minnesota general manager David Kahn guested at the play-by-play table for a summer league game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, sitting between Matt Winer and Chris Webber(notes), and the interplay is well worth a listen.
The entire interview had Kahn in a corner, with little pressing, backed into explaining his recent work as Timberwolves boss. If you're unfamiliar with Kahn's work, understand that a good mate of mine, completely unsolicited, sent me a text Wednesday using words I couldn't hope to replicate in polite company, whilst wondering out loud if the Wolves GM might be eligible for a certain type of bus pass. Also, he signed Darko Milicic(notes) to a four-year, $20 million deal earlier this month.
If that's not enough, you could listen to the interview. One that starts with Kahn pointing out that the Wolves have improved, "even though there was no improvement in terms of wins or losses."
Or even in terms of personnel, coaching staff or front office employees.
Kahn goes on to describe Darko Milicic as "like a manna from heaven," which might be the worst bastardization of a Biblically inspired sports description I've ever heard, before pointing out that he "hasn't seen a big man pass like him," which drew some polite chuckles from C-Webb.
Undeterred, Kahn went on to say that Darko "passes like Vlade." "Like Vlade Divac?" Webber asked, just to make sure Kahn wasn't referring to the more similarly styled Vladimir Stepania.
(By the way, Thursday morning, Hoopdata.com's Tom Haberstroh was kind enough to point out the, um, disparities in the assist percentage of the players being bandied about by Kahn.)
Backing further, Kahn then pointed out the high end of the expectations for Milicic. The Timberwolves, he explained, "expect [Darko] to have a decent little season."
Put that in your program.
If it's not enough, Kahn feels a need to punctuate a bit of on-air silence by asking Webber what year he "kind of felt like you were in your own," as if Webber's 17.5-point, 9.1-rebound, 3.6-assist, 1.2-steal, 2.2-block rookie year, at age 20 (when Darko averaged 4.8 points and 2.7 rebounds) wasn't enough.
That was about it for C-Webb: "We're not talking," he warned, "about me and Darko in the same sentence."
Reeling, on-air, Kahn then set to backing up his decision by pointing out just how well Darko picked up Minnesota's offense.
"It took Darko two days to pick up," he pointed out, "what it took others two months to pick up."
Considering that the Timberwolves went 1-22 to end the season; what, exactly, were these guys picking up?
Listen, signing Darko Milicic isn't the end of the world. Given starters minutes last season, he managed just under 12 points, two blocks and eight rebounds. And for a salary that is less than the league's average, this isn't completely and utterly terrible. It's not as if he's the free-agent equivalent of spending three lottery picks on Jonny Flynn(notes), an uninterested Ricky Rubio(notes) and Wesley Johnson(notes).
But just end it, already. Stop talking. Stop showing up at league events like the finals or summer league, stopping ripping on the shape of potential lottery picks, and stop trying to talk us into us thinking that you know what you're doing. Because your team was the worst in the NBA last year (I don't give a whit about New Jersey's inferior record), and you just traded your best player for a trade exception. And then you're going to try and compare Chris Webber's injury-plagued early career to Darko Milicic's terrible-plagued early career?
Just stop, David Kahn. If we're all morons for what we think are terrible moves, then we're all on record. So go ahead and let that record speak for itself.
Until then, to quote Webber's hilarious end to the interview, "good luck."