Friday, June 17, 2011
David Kahn, Kurt Rambis discuss future
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kurt Rambis has been waiting two months for an answer about his coaching future with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It turns out he had some homework to do before team president David Kahn could make a decision.
Kahn said on Friday that he asked Rambis to write an extensive, detailed report about his team and the changes he would make if he comes back for a third season as head coach. Kahn said he asked Rambis to complete the report in mid-May, and the coach turned it in last weekend, setting up a series of meetings this week.
Kahn and Rambis met for four hours Thursday night and were scheduled to meet for another few hours Friday.
Kahn hired Rambis away from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, signing him to a four-year contract to start a massive rebuilding project in Minnesota. Rambis has won just 32 games in his first two seasons as coach -- with 132 losses -- and the Wolves finished last season with a 15-game losing streak that dropped them to the worst record in the NBA.
"I really asked him to be as comprehensive and as thorough as possible. ... And I assured him that we would meet before any decision was made and this was really the quickest day that we could meet," Kahn said Friday in his first comments about the coaching situation since the season ended on April 13.
Kahn said no decision has been made about Rambis and there was no timetable for one, even though the draft is less than a week away. He said taking his time has been all part of an effort not to make an emotional decision after the team ended the season on such a sour note.
"I felt very strongly that if Kurt and I had tried to have some substantive conversations immediately after the season, it probably wouldn't have been very productive because of the way we ended our season," Kahn said. "It was pretty raw. And I thought there needed to be a significant cooling off period."
With Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio announcing that he will leave Barcelona to play for the Timberwolves next season, Kahn asked Rambis to detail some of the changes he would make to address the myriad problems the young team has had over the last two seasons. Some observers say the offense, which has elements of Phil Jackson's famed triangle sets mixed with more conventional pick-and-rolls, doesn't cater to point guards and therefore would not be a fit for Rubio's skills.
"Not that Ricky is a symbol of this, but since I've arrived we've intended to play a style of basketball on both sides of the ball that is intended to be open court, exciting, fast break," Kahn said. "And for whatever reason we haven't achieved that style yet, although we've done some good things as part of it."
With Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and a bevy of young, athletic players, the Timberwolves averaged almost 102 points per game, which was 10th in the league. But they also allowed an NBA-worst 107.7 points per game, the biggest reason they finished 17-65.
Rambis has attended prospect workouts for the past two days but has been unavailable to comment.