David Kahn told reporters at the press conference after Kurt Rambis was fired that he was looking for a coach with “uptempo DNA.” That’s all the rage in Minnesota. Kahn is aware he can’t force the team or its fans to endure another rebuilding stretch to demolish the current rebuilding scheme and survive with his job intact, so he’s doing what you do when you have a fast team you can’t do anything with: Try and go faster.
But based off the first couple of candidates Kahn has interviewed outside of Don Nelson (which is all sorts of crazy), the phrase “I do not think that word means what you think it means” comes to mind.
We brought you word Monday that the Wolves were interviewing former Blazer player and former Suns coach Terry Porter. Porter’s teams have always erred on the fast side, but much of that is likely due to the makeup of the personnel he was walking into. He hasn’t “built” a fast team, he’s just coached them. And not very well, at that. He tried to slow down the Suns, which, if you’re going to slow them down, you have to go all the way and reshape the entire tempo of the team, not go halfway (and ditch Steve Nash, but that’s another conversation). Porter does have experience as an assistant in Minnesota, but that still seems like an odd fit.
Then there’s news Tuesday of the Wolves interviewing Mike Woodson. As for Woodson’s fast-break pedigree? Well, let’s let SBNation.com point the way:
In announcing the firing of Rambis, Kahn said he’d be looking for a coach more committed to the fast break. Like Porter, Woodson is puzzling in that context. The Hawks finished No. 27 in the NBA in pace factor in Woodson’s final season in Atlanta, and over his tenure averaged a finish of No. 20.
via Mike Woodson To Interview For Timberwolves’ Head Coach Job – SBNation.com.
Woodson’s a good overall coach, and the work he did with the Hawks was underrated (just look at the job Larry Drew did in his first year for reference, despite the team’s record and second-round appearance). But he’s a poor fit for the Timberwolves, especially within the context of bringing that “uptempo DNA.” He has more of a “slow it down and most likely have the ball wind up in an ISO situation DNA” kind of guy (though the ball movement on the Hawks in his term was better than it was with Drew this season).
It seems like we’re piling on here just to pile on Kahn, and maybe that’s the case. After all it doesn’t make sense to criticize the Wolves for wanting a fast team, then criticize them for bringing in slower coaches. It just doesn’t speak well to have a flawed plan to begin with, or rather to say you have a plan that’s obviously flawed, and then to take steps which act in total denial of that plan.
But then, them’s the breaks, and at this point, the only happy ending for this Wolves team (with Kahn) is for things to just randomly work out, which has happened from time to time. But let it be noted that from this vantage point at this moment in time, the sausage factory looks awfully weird.