David Kahn made some comments following the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery that made it seems as though the Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations believed the fix was in on Friday night.
Draft Express has posted video of the incident, and while Kahn doesn't exactly make it clear the quotes came with an "I'm just joking" caveat, it's clear that the comments came along with the patented Kahn smirk.
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said while meeting with reporters following his team taking second in the Lottery despite having the top odds. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
Speaking with CBS Sports' Ken Berger on Wednesday, after traveling to Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine following Tuesday's lottery, Kahn says that he doesn't believe in jinxes -- just the "power of story."
"The first questions I was asked last night by the reporters were, did I feel that the Timberwolves were jinxed," Kahn told Berger. "You know, we have a poor lottery record. And I want to say for the record, I don't believe in jinxes, curses, hocus pocus, and I don't believe we've been harmed in any way. What I said last night, I do believe in the power of story. And I just felt it was a heck of a lot better story for a 14-year-old to beat out two middle-aged executives standing together on a stage on national TV, and that our league has had its own share of luck in being a part of those stories. That's it. Anybody ascribing anything else to it is completely doing their own thing."
Kahn believes, as well, that the quotes were simply taken out of context.
"There was no follow-up question. Nobody said, ‘Do you understand what you just said?' No, because everybody knew context. But I do understand, to your point, just reading it dry, that somebody could infer that. So lesson learned."
So the NBA Draft lottery isn't rigged?
"Absolutely not. I'm just saying that, if you look at sports in general, typically fairy tale stories, Cinderella stories, whatever you want to say, those tend to dominate sports. I just knew when you're standing there with a 14-year-old kid, logically the 14-year-old kid ... it had nothing to do with being nefarious."
Either way, he knows what he said was probably enough to bring about a fine from the league office.
"I've had money taken away from me before," Kahn said. "It probably won't be the last time. It is what it is."
Not sure that's the best attitude to have, Mr. Kahn, but it is what it is.