David Kahn was president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2009 to 2013. His most famous move was passing on Stephen Curry with both the 5th and 6th picks in 2009. The Warriors then drafted Curry 7th and have now won two titles with him as their starting point guard. Meanwhile, Minnesota hasn’t had a winning season since 2004-2005.
Kahn’s passing on Curry is the stuff of anti-legend, but it turns out you really can blame him for this one. Dell Curry mentioned that Steph didn’t want to go to Minnesota in an article last season, but now Kahn has turned up to pen a piece for Sports Illustrated about what went wrong and compare Dell Curry to LaVar Ball. Here is Kahn in his own words on the two point guards the Timberwolves picked that year:
So we now had the Nos. 5 and 6 picks in the draft. Taking not one, but two players who might not want to play in Minnesota? That would have taken real cojones. We took Rubio and Jonny Flynn, a ready-to-play point guard who started 81 games for us as a rookie and then fell victim to a terrible hip injury. At the time, drafting Flynn made a lot of sense: we didn’t have a single point guard on the roster and our staff had ranked him No. 1 among all point-guard prospects for not only his on-court play, but also his strong leadership qualities, a significant team need.
Flynn made his final move to the top of our charts based on his impressive visit and workout with Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings, among others. Curry’s absence was duly noted. Rubio wasn’t there, either, but I thought his passing ability and defense were extraordinary for an 18-year-old and was willing to take the risk I could ultimately recruit him to come. That was the player I wanted.
This is both an excuse and explanation and more proof that Kahn did a horrible job. Yes, the Currys said they didn’t want to go to Minnesota, but so did Rubio. So he still made the wrong decision. And there was obviously a trade market for Curry. The Warriors and Suns both wanted him. It really was nice of David Kahn to write a story reliving how bad he was at that job.
As for comparing Dell Curry to LaVar Ball, don’t do that. LaVar Ball is the worst kind of sports dad. Dell Curry is a guy who didn’t want to have to fly to Minneapolis every month. Plus, one of them would have had a chance against Michael Jordan.