Thursday, August 15th, 2013 at 4:45 pm  |  18 responses

Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio Reminded Ex-Timberwolves GM David Kahn of Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe

You should definitely read this terrific profile in Grantland of Jonny Flynn’s struggle to get back into the NBA. But before you do that, marvel at former Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn’s sheer lunacy. Kahn told a colleague that Flynn and Ricky Rubio — who were both bafflingly drafted on the same night by Minny in 2009 — reminded him of the Hall of Fame duo of Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe: “Minnesota appointed David Kahn president of basketball operations in 2009. Kahn, a former sportswriter and Indiana Pacers executive, had been out of the league for five years. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Kahn had been rated as low as the organization’s fourth choice before his hiring. Kahn promised up-tempo basketball. The organization adopted a short-lived slogan: ‘United We Run.’ Kahn arrived just weeks before a pivotal draft. Minnesota possessed three of the draft’s first 18 selections after picking up the fifth overall pick in a trade with Washington. Flynn was chosen sixth overall that night by the Timberwolves, right after Rubio. [...] Kahn took Ty Lawson with the 18th pick. ‘What are we doing?????’ (Kevin) Love tweeted before Minnesota rerouted Lawson to the Denver Nuggets for a first-round pick. The Warriors selected Stephen Curry with the seventh pick. [...] Many around the league were baffled by the selections as well. ‘I’ve been at this a long, long time,’ said an Eastern Conference executive, who requested anonymity while discussing another organization’s dealings. ‘That was one of the oddest selections I’ve ever seen. It was like he was trying to outthink everyone else and he ended up outthinking himself.’ It soon became apparent that Rubio would not arrive from Spain immediately. At first, Flynn would grab the reins. But Kahn insisted that his newly drafted point guards could share the same backcourt. ‘Great players like playing with great players,’ he told the Star-Tribune after the draft. ‘Jonny is only six-feet, but he carries himself like he’s 6-4. He has a 40-inch vertical leap. I’ve never seen a kid six-feet look and feel like he’s 6-3 or 6-4 like this kid does. I think he could be very special.’ [...] Dave Wohl, Minnesota’s lead assistant, remembers arriving in Minnesota and Kahn asking him whether Rubio and Flynn could prosper playing together. Wohl described Flynn as a good, ambitious kid. He also said that Rubio and Curry would have made a better pairing. He didn’t believe either Flynn or Rubio could perform at shooting guard. ‘He said, ‘No, no. I want to play Jonny and Rubio. They remind me of [Walt] Frazier and [Earl] Monroe,’ Wohl said. ‘When he said that, I didn’t know what to say. I actually played during the ’70s against Earl and Clyde and there’s just no comparison.’ Wohl told Kahn that he did not think it was an accurate comparison. ‘He said, ‘Yeah, it is. They are two guys who can handle the ball,’ Wohl recalled Kahn saying.”

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  • LLC#12

    How anyone could have ever thought a back court of Flynn and Rubio could work is just beyond me. Lawson and Rubio would be a lot better, but still wouldn’t really work at all. Lunacy.

  • bike

    Sounds like Kahn took a recent tumble off the old turnip wagon.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


  • LakeShow

    This peyote cactus was photographed in his back yard.

  • robb

  • shockexchange

    Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn are black too?

  • Saleem Rainman

    Rubio and Curry…can u imagine?

  • LakeShow

    Yes. And I like.

  • fruizm


  • RKJ92

    LOL Walt Frazier, and Earl Monroe?.. is he trippin on some LSD?!?

  • Saleem Rainman

    so do i my man, so do i.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    In kahn’s defense, I read an article a few months back, and Kahn said Steph Curry wouldnt even come work out for the timberwolves …. so that why they didn’t draft him…. ill find the article and post…,.

    Edit: good read, 5 parts…..

    In no way am I justifying Kahns point guard draft bonaza, fyi…..

  • Will Lee

    Jennings + Ellis are two little guys that can handle the ball better and still they won’t even touch Monroe + Frazier, kill me

  • Shifty

    Read the Grantland piece. Pretty sad for Flynn.

  • RunNGun

    Kahn should have called Curry’s bluff. Rubio/Curry back court would have been fine running the runNGun offense.

  • brad09′

    great story, shows how insane david kahn was, i was a sophmore in hs at the time, and even I knew this was insane. Ive wondered about these selections for yearss.

  • Basketball_iQ


  • LP @ThisisEther

    Right, but kahn was on the job for 3 weeks before the draft, and its not like steph was a sure thing at this draft…….no way he drafts a guy that wont even visit and is suspect……if anything,he woulda drafted jennings