FanPost

Kahn's interview with NBA TV on Draft night

Two interviews actually. Very informative, and the first one started off hysterically with Kenny Smith trying to get a sympathy comment from Kahn over his sore throat.

 

Anyway, I've done transcripts of both interviews so you can read it all out yourselves (getting video embeds from NBA TV to work is.....difficult....) What gets talked about? Well...

Who is our best player?

What's the plan in free agency?

What do you like about Wes Johnson?

What's going on with Al Jefferson?

So, David Kahn, Rick Kamla, David Aldridge, and Kenny "the Jet" Smith....

Kenny: Good evening, Mr. Kahn
Kahn: Good evening Mr. Smith
Kenny: I'm doin' well. So I have a question...
Aldridge: He didn't ask though, Kenny. He didn't ask!
Kenny: I know. I'll just tell him.
Kahn: You want me feign concern? You don't want to be feign concern, do you? All I was thinking tonight was 'boy, I wonder how Kenny's doing tonight. I hope he's doing well! That would be really important to me!'
Kenny: Well, I think it would be nice if you would just...I mean, because I have a sore throat, and I'm still here...
Aldrige: He's playing hurt! He's playing hurt!
Kenny: Ya, unlike some of your players who played for you last year...
Aldridge: Oooooo, you had to go there? Did you have to go there?
Kenny: He didn't ask all night how I was!
Kahn: No offense taken, no offense taken. We're not a good team right now. We're not a good team and we have a lot to do. I've never said anything otherwise. So go ahead.

Kenny:
Well, [blah blah blah] Triangle offense [blah blah blah] screen and roll [blah blah] but normally before you start deciding how we're going to play and who we're going to play, who is our best player? Who is our best player, and that sorta dictates free agency and more trades and that kind of thing. Who do you think is the best player on your team?
Kahn: I don't think we have one right now, and I'm not trying to be funny. We don't. And I think that's a big problem for us as a team and something we're trying to address. And I'm not trying to suggest we did it tonight. I don't know if we did or not. Certainly you hope you helped the team, but I can't stand here today...and say that it's been addressed.

I just think the most important thing I want to convey is as follows: we're trying to become a running, up tempo team. Not like maybe some team run, but we're trying to really become and open court team, especially with Rubio coming over in a year, with Jonny here, and with some of the pieces we picked up here tonight. I think that says a lot about who hope to aspire to.

And we're very young still. We're painfully young, and we got younger tonight, even though we took some players who are more of the older type of young players than maybe we've had in the past.

But Kenny, you hit the nail on the head. If you want to be a great team in this league, you've got to have a great player. Of players. I think Pau Gasol is one of the top ten players in the league, and they [the Lakers] have arguably the best player with him. We've got a long way to go, and I think one of the things we have to identify in the coming weeks, months, years, is who is going to be our great player. And it's not easy to do.

Kenny:...there are a lot of great players in the potential free agent market. Do you view yourselves as players when July first hits to maybe get one of those great players or maybe make a move to get one so you can say difinitively, this is our best player now and we have our future built? Or are you gonna just go with the guys you have now, and you're going to work it out in the future and let them develop?
Kahn: More the former than the latter. Meaning I like a lot of the young players we have, and I expect them to be part of our core pieces.

But we're going to be very active this summer. And I think that we may surprise people. I hope we can. You know, I can't talk about names here tonight...but this is not a period for us to lay back. This franchise has, frankly, struggled for the last several years. And Kurt and I only had to endure it for one year, and I feel very badly for the people who are here. There are a lot of people who are very frustrated, and very hopeful that this thing will turn around.

The challenge is, how do you do it quickly, and yet not hastily, and it's very hard to do. I mean, Boston was very lucky that year. They had Paul Pierce, and then one summer, Garnett and Allen are there and everything changed immediately. And if I could figure out a way to do that, Kenny, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But that doesn't happen very often. So we're trying to do it the right way, piece by piece, adhering to the culture of we want to be an open court, running style of play. It's what the fans want to watch, but as you know, it's what the players want to play. And free agents, I think, are going to be more prone to wanting to come to a system like that than they will be to coming to a halfcourt, grind it out type of system.

Kamla: Number four, Wesley Johnson. We all like him as a player, we like the fit with Minnesota. Why do you all like him?
Kahn: Well, we fell in love with Wesley, I think, throughout the year, but especially during his workout here. He really showed, during the spring even, that his ball handling has really improved. I think that's the one part of his game he's going to have to really improve with our coaches this summer.

But the guy can really shoot. We had him as the second best shooting in the entire draft, but we also had him as the second best athlete in the entire draft, behind only John Wall. And that's a rare combination in our sport, I think...usually the tendency is to not think of great athletes as great shooters. But I think not only with but, but with Martell Webster, tonight we picked up not one, but two people who kind of fit that mold.

Aldridge: We just talked about this a minute ago, this situation with Al Jefferson...
Kahn: I heard you David...
Aldridge: I know, you're going to tell me you haven't been shopping him...
Kahn: No, I'm going to tell you the opposite. Here's the deal with Al. We never, until this draft period, but out a call...and outbound call...on Al. This whole year, with both Al and Kevin, we've been getting incoming calls. But there's no question we have a logjam of sorts at the big positions. We're hopeful that Darko Milicic will come back and play center for us. We also have a very skilled 24 year old in Nikola Pekovic who we also hope to have come over. So that's two bigs you add to Kevin and Al.

And this is going to be a summer of a lot of movement, there will be a lot of trading. So I do think that we have to confront this issue this summer. This is the first time, David, that we've had some outbound calls. The only thing I deny is, you get these reports of "did you do this this and this?", and those denials are accurate. And I'm not going to get into names. The only thing I will say is there is one team in particular...that wants to put out the word that Al's knee is a problem. And it's not. And that's offensive to me. Al didn't miss a game last year because of his knee.

Now there's no question when you come off an injury as serious as an ACL, it takes a while, maybe even a year, to regain some pop, and I think we're starting to see it this summer. Al is working diligently on his body, on his core, and I expect him to have a great year.

But nonetheless this may be the time we have to confront it. And we've spoken to Al about that. Al knows, Al was in my office this week, and we're trying to do this as above board and as open and honest as possible.

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