July 14, 2011
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Please let it be Don Nelson. Please oh please oh pleeeeeeezzzeee.Please, Lord, use your powers of persuasion, whether it be a soft white enveloping light or torrential frog showers, to inspire David Kahn to hire Don Nelson as the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.It will make the NBA lockout worthwhile. It will divert attention from LeBron James. It will make Minneapolis the What-The-Hell capital of the world, wresting the crown from wherever James Harrison happens to be today.It must happen.
Nelson needs no introduction in these parts, and frankly, he probably wouldnt like the one he would get. And for those of you who dont know, David Kahn is the T-Wolves answer to Bobby The Brain Rowell, at least in Minnesota, where most folks think he does goofy stuff just to see the looks on peoples faces.STEINMETZ: Nelson to T'Wolves ... ridiculous or real?
In short, it is the percent merging of reputations that couldnt be worse and therefore could only improve . . . or become a disaster the likes of which hasnt been seen since Al Davis brought back the overhead projector.The Timberwolves with Kahn as the architect are currently awful, way worse than the Warriors have been at nearly any time in the past 20 years, and as you know, thats saying something.Nelson was essentially run out of town by new Warrior owner Joe Lacob even before he was the new Warrior owner, and since it is typically hard to be fired by someone who isnt even your boss, thats saying something too.So their commingling must happen, because only entertainment can happen. And since the NBAs principal job these days is to show us old All-Star games and old drafts (Hey look, its Joe Smith!), the league needs all the entertainment it can emit.Lets break this down more simply, though.Kahn needs either a genius to save him from himself. Or a human shield. Nelson needs a team to reconstruct his legacy. Minnesota owner Glen Taylor couldnt be worse than Chris Cohan, and Kevin Love is more interior presence than Nelsons had in years.But thats just for starters. Kahn thinks he is the smartest guy in the room because he does strange things nobody else would dare try. Nelson knows hes the smartest guy in the room because hes done even stranger things that nobody else has dared replicate.And best of all, Nelson has a track record of considerable success that Kahn hasnt even remotely approached, thus promising a glorious fight for the owners love and attention between resentment of the basketball-underclubbed boss and the frustrations of the hyperexperienced underling.You dont think thats a beer and a brat in heaven? You dont think thats must-see training camp? You dont think thats the argument between the captains of the Titanic and the Andrea Doria over who gets to steer the ship to the bottom? On the other hand, who doesnt like a gloriously redemptive tale of the wizened old head and the stubborn kid who find magic somewhere between their positions? I mean, if Nelson saves the Wolves, he comes out whole, and Kahn escapes his reputation as the general manager who put levities and enmities in Minnesota Timberwolves.In short, they need each other, even though they might kill each other. And if thats not your idea of fun, then you hate fun.So please let it be Don Nelson, as surely as there is a sun in the sky, dirt on the ground and the prosecutors in the Roger Clemens trial being beaten with leather-bound books. He deserves it. The T-Wolves deserve it. You deserve it. America deserves it.What, you dont like America either? Damn. You are hard to please.