Each day I’d like to start out with a group of links to T-Wolves news, which I’m dubbing The Lay-Up Line. Something similar to what you find at TrueHoop with the First Cup every morning. I’ll be linking to content all over the place and hopefully it will evolve into something that is a jump-start to the day focusing on the Wolves.
From Timberwolves.com a good roundup of quotes/reactions from around the league on the Wolves hiring David Kahn as their new President of Basketball Operations:
“David helped me as much as anyone that I worked with during my time in Indiana, and his work with Conseco made it the best building in the league. He has a wealth of experience and will do a great job in Minnesota. David is very capable of capitalizing on the position the Timberwolves franchise is in and taking that team to the next level.”
– Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations
“I think the world of David. I’ve known him since we first crossed paths back at UCLA and I have nothing but admiration and respect for all that he’s accomplished throughout his career. David will bring a tremendous background to the job, particularly from his time with Donnie at the Pacers. I’ve always had a fondness for the Timberwolves, and with the group of exciting young players they’ve assembled, I think they have a great opportunity in front of them. I’m thrilled that David is getting this chance and I think he’ll do a phenomenal job.”
– Larry Brown, Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach
“I’m very happy for David. He’s a very intelligent guy and knows the ins and outs of this league as well as anyone. David has all the tools to get the job done in Minnesota.”
– Larry Bird, Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations
“An excellent hire. David has great knowledge of both the basketball and business sides of an NBA franchise. He is a highly-motivated person that will bring out the best in the people who work with him.”
– Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks Head Coach
“David is a remarkably gifted individual, with a combination of high intelligence, a major-league work ethic, and a great understanding of what makes teams successful. His ability to understand the dynamics of an NBA franchise is a real strength and he’ll be someone the Timberwolves can look to for leadership and sound decision-making.
– Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs Head Coach
Kahn also had a Q+A with Maury Brown at bizofbasketball.com
One part I found interesting as its something I didn’t really think about. How often are teams scouting players and their character and talent to potentially acquire a player (as opposed to just figuring out how to stop them the next time they play them)?
“Generally, I think we spend an enormous amount of research scouting college players, high school players, and not quite nearly amount of resources of scouting the players who are already in the league. When, now all of a sudden, scouting them, you have a lot more ability to make some more careful assessments. If you have a college kid, you have to project everything. You have to project his place in the league, you have to project how he’ll fit into the league. Can he make the jump? Once they’re in the league, you don’t have to project anymore, you’re watching them play other NBA players. So now, it would seem to me that the need to have information shouldn’t stop when they come into the NBA. It should continue on and you can make the argument that it should be bigger and more substantive.
And the press conference announcing the hiring of Kahn via Timberwolves.com
From the corresponding article:
“Taylor found a new president of basketball operations that encompassed a diverse background seen in other sports. Several examples include Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, and Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane.”
That’s some pretty good company to be putting Kahn in. I can only hope he is as good as Morey is in Houston and Epstein is in Boston.