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Updated: May 18th, 2011 1:52pm
David Kahn says lottery remark was made 'in a joking fashion'

David Kahn says lottery remark was made 'in a joking fashion'

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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David Kahn wants to set the record straight:

His comments about losing the Minnesota Timberwolves' latest NBA Draft lottery loss were just a joke.

Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, raised eyebrows on Tuesday night after the team received the No. 2 overall pick when he said the NBA "has a habit, and I'm just going to say a habit, of producing some pretty incredible storylines."

The No. 1 pick went to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were represented on the podium in New York by the teenage son of owner Dan Gilbert. Some took Kahn's remark -- which proceeded a joke that "once the 14-year-old hit the dais with us, we were dead" -- as an insinuation the lottery was rigged.

In a statement forwarded by a team spokesman to 1500ESPN.com on Wednesday afternoon, Kahn explained he was only responding to a question about whether the Wolves -- who never have been awarded the No. 1 pick -- are jinxed and never intended to imply anything underhanded had taken place.

"The first question I was asked last night after the lottery was whether the Timberwolves were jinxed for our lottery record through the years," Kahn said in the statement.

"I don't believe in jinxes, curses, hocus pocus and I certainly don't think we were wronged. But I do believe in the power of story, and I joked last night that it's a heckuva better story for a 14-year-old kid to beat out a couple of middle-aged executives standing together on a stage on national TV, and that our league seems to always have its own share of luck in being a part of these stories.

"That was the entire meaning of what I said last night in a joking fashion, and what I believe was received in such fashion."

The video shows reporters in New York seemed to get the joke, which he used again in a conference call with Twin Cities reporters a short time later. It remains to be seen whether the NBA office finds humor as well.

The NBA for years has faced skepticism about the lottery, which is conducted behind closed doors before the results are released publicly. And Kahn has been in trouble before, most recently for telling 1500 ESPN in July that newly acquired forward Michael Beasley's problem in Miami was he smoked too much marijuana.

Kahn and the team each were fined $50,000 for that remark, and several national reporters already have called for Kahn to face similar punishment -- if not worse -- for what he said on Tuesday.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, the league had not commented.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
In this story: Michael Beasley
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