After the Minnesota Timberwolves lost the lottery on Tuesday night, David Kahn opened his mouth and got his David Kahn on, blabbering nonsense about how the NBA “has a habit … of producing some pretty incredible story lines.” As you can imagine, relegating a widow and sick child to “storyline” status didn’t go over to well, as the Minnesota personnel man was blasted by just about everyone.
Yesterday, he had a chance to explain his comments, which he did to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger.
Speaking Wednesday to CBSSports.com at the Westin Hotel in Chicago, where league executives convened for the pre-draft camp and competition committee meeting, Kahn said his comments were made in jest and that he didn’t intend to imply that the lottery was rigged. But then he may have unintentionally dug a deeper hole when he reiterated the essence of his comment, saying he believes in “the power of story.”
“The first questions I was asked last night by the reporters were, did I feel that the Timberwolves were jinxed,” Kahn said. “You know, we have a poor lottery record. And I want to say for the record, I don’t believe in jinxes, curses, hocus pocus, and I don’t believe we’ve been harmed in any way. What I said last night, I do believe in the power of story. And I just felt it was a heck of a lot better story for a 14-year-old to beat out two middle-aged executives standing together on a stage on national TV, and that our league has had its own share of luck in being a part of those stories. That’s it. Anybody ascribing anything else to it is completely doing their own thing.”
Kahn pointed out that his comment Tuesday night “elicited laughter,” and said, “There was no follow-up question. Nobody said, ‘Do you understand what you just said?’ No, because everybody knew context. But I do understand, to your point, just reading it dry, that somebody could infer that. So lesson learned.”
OK, fine — Kahn was joking. Classic jokes about dead husbands and children with terrible nerve diseases. Some of the best joke topics ever. Nothing better than joking about that stuff, which is sure to always be a hit with any audience. One of the first things you learn in Jokes 101 is to crack on other people’s tragedies.
Nonetheless, it’s better that he was joking than not joking (duh). Kahn may be a colossal idiot, but at least he’s not the kind of mean-spirited idiot who would actually say and mean hurtful things, even though he’s still sticking to his belief in “the power of the story,” whatever that is. He’s just a guy who picks terrible jokes that he can’t sell at the wrong times. He’ll probably get fined — Berger reports that the league is still considering punishment, with the only reason they might not dock him being that they don’t want to draw attention to what he said — but he isn’t necessarily a jerk.
A total putz who can’t stop from saying dumb things? Sure, but maybe not a jerk.