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Report: Wolves targeted Coach K for coaching position until they remembered they’re the Wolves

Jun 26, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

Michigan v Duke Getty Images

It’s not like they’re going to have trouble getting a coach. Any head coaching position will draw interest, and will draw qualified candidates. There are only 30 NBA head coaching jobs, so most people if offered one will take it, no matter the circumstances. But the Minnesota Timberwolves are damaging their future ability to get qualified applicants.

It’s June 26th, and Kurt Rambis is still the head coach of the Wolves. This despite not having been given any support since season’s end from management or ownership. This despite having not been invited to draft workouts. This despite being instructed to put together a report on the team like he’s a fifth grader. It’s been a disgraceful way to treat a professional, no matter how bad a job he did, especially considering how prolifically they set Rambis up to fail with their decision making. Give Rambis this, he hasn’t quit in a huff. He’s going to make the Wolves fire him and pay him every penny they owe him on his contract.

But where do they go from there? The New York Daily News says the Wolves have aimed high… by about two miles over a reasonable distance for a target.

Timberwolves GM David Kahn, made a run at Mike Krzyzewski.

Talk about a waste of time. Coach K once turned down a chance to go to the Lakers and coach Kobe Bryant in his prime. Did Kahn really think that he could get Krzyzewski to leave his Duke kingdom? He did.

“He tried to get him,” said one Kahn confidante.

via Timberwolves GM wanted to lure Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski to Minnesota to coach Ricky Rubio project.

Now that’s the best gag I’ve heard all week. It’s worth a shot, obviously, but the only way Krzyzewski is leaving Duke is if he’s walking into a surefire championship situation and he feels like it. Neither of those conditions apply in Minnesota. It’s a pipe dream. And if the Wolves are wasting their time trying for the hole-in-one instead of just trying to get it on the green, it’s yet another example of how flawed the decision making is from top-down.

Meanwhile, people like Jeff Van Gundy, members of the coaching fraternity, are openly criticizing the move in public regarding how they’ve treated Rambis. This isn’t just about doing the right thing. It’s about not putting yourselves in a position to be regarded as a place where coaches are mistreated. Yes, you’ll always be able to get someone to take the job. But the most qualified applicants, like Coach K? They care about how you treat your coaches. And the Wolves are doing themselves a disservice.

You want to bring in one of the best? Try handling your in-house business with class and dignity first.

  1. kirschmania - Jun 26, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    good stuff. totally agree. if your buddy said they had a job opening at his work but you had to move to siberia, manage inexperienced workers and then talked about how big of a dick his boss was, would you consider the job? probably not.

  2. bleedhouse - Jun 26, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    is it just me or are the wolves starting to seeming more and more like the nba version of the raiders?

    • bobulated - Jun 26, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      The Raiders at least have a history of excellence up until the past decade; the Wolves not so much. For a NFL parallel we are definitely talking Bengals. The Clippers are also another franchise that has raised mismanagement to a high art.

      • iplaybingowitholdpeopleandwin - Jun 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM

        Oh no…not the Raiders at all. The Raiders have had one philosophy for 40 years – Al Davis’ coaching philosophy of throw deep, run fast, and on D execute man-to-man coverage. They’ve largely been successful but hit some lows in the past decade.

        The Tee Wolves have been pathetic for years — the best thing that happened to them was KG and they still found a way to muff that by not going past the first round of the playoffs.

        I agree with Bobulated –> Bengals beyond a shadow of a doubt. Here’s a current example. The Bungles have a player (Carson Palmer) who doesn’t want to play for them. Palmer has value around the league, meaning a sensible GM would get at least a couple of 3rd or 4th rounders. Palmer wants a trade but would rather retire than play for the Bungles. Instead of trading Palmer for draft picks or more veteran bodies, Mike Brown of the Bungles refuses to be made a fool or punk’d by a player. Instead, he publicly declares he’s not trading Palmer but drafts a rookie QB. Huh? What about making the team better at all costs?

        There are only two words that can describe such behavior by Mike Brown –> Horse’s @$$. Surely, he and Mr. Kahn have some genetic relationship. I don’t fault Kahn for aiming high…you should at least try but after the whole book report thing, putting a respected coach in limbo, not supporting the coach by giving him the players to run his system, and however many other blunders, Kahn’s going to have to coach this team himself.

    • cosanostra71 - Jun 26, 2011 at 4:58 PM

      they’re pretty poorly managed but the Clippers are still up there

    • randysavage4ever - Jun 26, 2011 at 7:45 PM

      dont ever speak again.

      The Raiders have the 5th Highest Winning Percentage in NFL History with 3 SB rings & 5 AFC titles. They also are embedded in NFL history.

      Where is the comparison?

  3. tashkalucy - Jun 26, 2011 at 12:48 PM


    A classic headline!

  4. Robert - Jun 26, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Kansas City or San Jose T Wolves..

    • bobulated - Jun 26, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      No way another NBA franchise comes to NorCal especially with the Kings being on public welfare just to stay. KC maybe but Seattle should have dibs on the next runaway; Bring back the Sonics!

      • goforthanddie - Jun 26, 2011 at 7:12 PM

        Except Seattle STILL doesn’t have an acceptable arena, and won’t any time soon.

  5. tashkalucy - Jun 26, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Actually your commentary probably hit it head on…..

    The coach is a member of management, and will have to be paid during the lockout.

    Obviously the Wolves are trying to get Rambis to resign so they don’t have to pay him. Better yet, if there is a lockout for the full year – which I believe to be the case – the Wolves can promote an assistant coach on paper to be head coach, and they won’t have to lay out a cent more.

    An awful environment not only to try to coach in, but for players as well. Who demands out first – Love, Williams or Rubio?

    And I might add (which I have never read anywhere) – what kind of GM drafts point guards like Matt Millan drafted WR’s with the Lions, and then hires a coach that wants to bring in the triangle offense… offense that doesn’t even use a point guard? And you give the coach a long contract.

  6. yesterdaze - Jun 26, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Why would any coach be dumb enough to turn down an NBA head coaching position for a similar position in college? College? When you could coach the professionals? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:54 AM

      Why? Coach K. makes as much or more money than most pros, has better job security and is treated as a walking god on the campus, as opposed to having his every move ripped apart in the NBA. And, he gets to coach the best of the NBA on Team USA, so he gets his fix. Why would he leave Duke for an NBA gig is the better question.

  7. goforthanddie - Jun 26, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    I would’ve loved to have heard that conversation. Wonder if K managed to muffle his laughter.

  8. thetooloftools - Jun 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    True basketball Siberia.
    Why the hell would K want to move to ….. oh my God… I can’t type from laughing so hard.
    P L E A S E

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