We all must've noticed Adrian Wojnarowski's last couple of fusillades against David Kahn. Kahn has a "condescending, abrasive style" that's "frustrating to rival GMs and agents because few people believe he has the background, knowledge or credentials to even hold the job."
But Woj's animus isn't limited to Minnesota. He was first in line to assail Kevin Pritchard for his "hubris,"
and has kept beating that particular drum; instead of attributing Portland's decision there to a variety of factors, some of which are pretty clear in basketball terms, he's sold it as nothing more than a matter of Pritchard's manner. I think it's safe to say that's at best a two-dimensional take. He also expresses a measure of disdain for New Orleans' organization under lame duck George Shinn. Shinn apparently might decide to bail on Chris Paul before new ownership comes in. And so on.
My guess is that we're seeing a seriously flawed side of the way these columnists – our Chad Fords and Adrian Wojnarowskis – do their work right now.
Basically our current generation of 'blurb' columinsts are heavily, heavily source dependent. To what extent are they "reporting," and to what extent are they simply passing along sourced material, with no synthesis or even analysis of that material? I'm not at all sure how much journalistic training Woj and Ford (to stick with big name examples) may have. It's pretty clear, though, that they aren't keeping in mind that sources obviously have motives of their own.
In the case of the Wolves, whatever inside voices Wojnarowski is relying on absolutely seem to be in the "old front office, grousing about Kahn" category. Don't they? Do we think Adrian W. called other teams at length and came to that first opinion, here?
"Kahn’s condescending, abrasive style is frustrating to rival GMs and agents because few people believe he has the background, knowledge or credentials to even hold the job. To his credit, Kahn did hire a personable assistant GM, Tony Ronzone, who can work the phones for him"
I would place a modest bet that a take like that is directly off the lips of someone in the Target Center offices. Would anyone with another team even bother to go out of their way to say something like that? Not unless they were actively asked, and even then another Executive (executives and agents would really be the only first-person sources on how "rival GMs and agents" reacted to things) would hardly commit himself to words like "abrasive." No, Woj is getting that sort of scuttlebutt from inside Target Center – from some disaffected employee who's about to move on. Right?
Motives are important. It doesn't even seem to have occurred to Wojnarowski that the Wolves' front office contracts are all coming due, and that a person telling him stuff like that might be seeing things that way because of the circumstances. And again, this is not a phenomenon unique to Kahn. Woj is making the same mistake with Portland, at least, seemingly. In a way he's being extremely naive about this, isn't he?
This is a big, big flaw in how we get our news about the league right now. In a way I'd almost rather have Sam Smith rambling off on rumors of his own creation; at least that takes some independent thought, and I'm less suspicious of Sam's motives, which are right on the surface most of the time.