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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Whoa Nellie!

by Connor Witt

The morning of July 16, 2011 began like every other this month, waking up to the realization that I am still a victim of the NBA lockout. And as an individual who relies on basketball both for my personal entertainment and writing fodder, the work stoppage has been doubly painful for me.

To fulfill the emptiness in my heart where NBA action resided not so long ago, I’ve been relegated to watching whatever ancient footage NBATV chooses to air. Today, my lone option was a 1985 regular season matchup between the Celtics and Knicks. But as hard as I try to enjoy the little NBA activity I am granted access to, I find it pretty difficult to get excited about grainy footage of game with a predetermined outcome featuring Kevin McHale’s awkward shoulders and a cameo from Carl Banks.

Fortunately Minnesota's delusional GM David Kahn stepped in to shake up the bleak landscape of the NBA world.

No, Kahn wasn't burning four first-round picks on guards, accusing the NBA of rigging the lottery, or proclaiming Darko Milicic to be "manna from heaven" on this day. His most recent exploit was revealing that Don Nelson may be in line to succeed Kurt Rambis as head coach.

It is as if Kahn is trying to make America forget his blunders of old by continually breeding worse and worse ideas. After all, his choice words at the NBA Draft Lottery this year silenced the criticism about signing two backup point guards (Ramon Sessions and Luke Ridnour) to matching $16 million contracts in consecutive years. Perhaps, the next step in the nonsensical mind of David Kahn is to implement Nellie Ball in an attempt to erase the memory of the 132 losses over the past two seasons.

However -- as is the case with most of David Kahn's basketball related ideas, visions, epiphanies, or whatever you'd like to call them -- there are a number of reasons why this would be the worst idea ever.

1. The T-Wolves gave up 107.7 points per game last season. Keep in mind, that was under a coach that supposedly emphasized defense to some extent. Even if Nelson can get Minnesota's array of young talent to put up 120 points per night, they're going to be allowing in the neighborhood of 140 (I hope I'm exaggerating, but you never know with the Wolves.)

2. Three years ago Anthony Randolph tore up the Las Vegas Summer League and even received an invite to the USA National Team mini-camp. Don Nelson rewarded him by relegating Randolph to the darkest depths of Nellie's doghouse then eventually insisting he seek a trade out of Golden State. It should be disastrous interesting to see how Nelson/Randolph, Part II works out in Minnesota.

3. If the league has to bar Don Nelson from drinking beer at post-game press conferences, he's probably not going to be the guiding light to point Michael Beasley in the right direction. Yes, I know Beasley's often publicized troubles have come as a result of marijuana, not alcohol, but still couldn't David Kahn find one coach out there with a little bit better track record?

This potential move has implications beyond simply who calls Minnesota's Xs and Os. As a basketball fan, I don't know if I can handle another year of the constant media circus surrounding Miami's big three. If Nelson is to become the next T-Wolves head coach, I can only the hope Minnesota's dysfunctional three ring circus of a basketball team can steal some headlines from The Heatles.

I don't know if I would go so far as to say America needs more lunatic GMs at the helm of their franchises, but as it stands David Kahn is doing a fine job of keeping me entertained during these most stagnant of times.

All signs point to this being a lengthy lockout, and I anxiously await the next trick up Kahn's sleeve.

Court adjourned.

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