Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn raised some eyebrows Tuesday night when he implied that the NBA draft lottery was fixed. Now he claims the comments were meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek remarks after a disappointing night.
Kahn said that the lottery always seems to have a great story, like last year when Abe Pollin’s widow was sent by Washington to the lottery and the Wizards walked away with the No. 1 pick. This year, Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert brought his 14-year-old son – who has battled Neurofibromatosis since birth – to the lottery. When Kahn saw that Nick Gilbert was in attendance, he said he was resigned to the fact that the Cavs would win.
And the Cavs did win, turning a 2.8 percent chance to win the lottery into the No. 1 overall pick.
Kahn later said, “He beat me tonight. He took all of us down.”
In a statement to the Associated Press on Wednesday Kahn had this to say:
“I don’t believe in jinxes, curses (or) hocus pocus, and I certainly don’t think we were wronged. But I do believe in the power of a story and I joked last night that it’s a heck (of a) better story for a 14-year-old kid to beat out a couple of middle-aged executives standing together on a stage on national TV – and that our league seems to always have its own share of luck in being a part of these stories.”
“That was the entire meaning of what I said last night in a joking fashion and what I believe was received in such fashion.”
Now look, I’d love to take Kahn at his word, but after his franchise ran it’s lottery record to 0-14, I have to assume he was just a little miffed. The Timberwolves had a 25 percent chance to end up with the No. 1 pick and have to settle for the No. 2 pick.
I sincerely hope Kahn was indeed joking.