David Kahn says 'process' of determining Rambis' future is ongoing
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MINNEAPOLIS - Kurt Rambis' future with the Minnesota Timberwolves will soon become clear.
Rambis told reporters two weeks ago that he had only "minimal" conversations with Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn about his job status in the wake of the team's 17-win season.
The line of communication between the two has been reopened as they met at length on Thursday and Friday to discuss Rambis' job status.
"I told him and I assured him that we would meet before any decision is made," Kahn said Friday, following his comments about the recent signing of widely-hyped Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio. "This is really the quickest day we could meet. We met for about four hours last night and we're going to meet for a couple hours today. We're in a process."
It was the first time Kahn had addressed the coaching situation in two months. Since the conclusion of another dismal season, speculation and criticism has mounted surrounding the already perceived dysfunctional relationship between Kahn and Rambis. They have both attended the Wolves' recent pre-draft workouts, but have often been seen sitting on opposite sides of the gym from each other.
"I think there has been a lot of over thinking on some people's parts about the process that we're in," Kahn said. "I felt very strongly that if Kurt and I had tried to have some substantial conversations immediately after the season it probably wouldn't have been very productive because of the way we ended our season."
When Rambis was introduced as head coach prior to the 2009-10 season, he was entrusted to help revitalize a sputtering, downtrodden franchise. But after posting 32 wins in two seasons, the hope of a turnaround has yet to be realized.
"Since I've arrived we've intended to play a style of basketball on both sides of the ball that is intended to be open court, exciting, fast-break," Kahn said. "And for whatever reason we haven't achieved that style yet, although we've done some good things as part of it."
As part of their recent meetings, Kahn said he had Rambis write a report about last season and what changes he would make for next year. That report was completed last week, which has played a large role in the ongoing "process."
Kahn gave no indication when a final decision will be made, but it is likely to come in the very near future, maybe even before Thursday's draft.
It took two years, but the Wolves officially confirmed Friday the widely-reported signing of Rubio to a multi-year deal.
"I'm happy that it's done and I'm very pleased for everyone with our ball club who helped participated in this decision."
The sight of Rubio in a Wolves jersey is a sight many fans and analysts thought would never come, but Kahn remained firmly behind his decision to select Rubio, despite increasing criticism.
"I felt very confident since we drafted him that he would want to start his career here," Kahn said. There was never a moment when that really wavered."
Rubio has developed both on the court and physically off the court in the last two years, but his stat line is far from impressive. During Barcelona's Euroleague season, he averaged 6.5 points and 3.5 assists, shooting 31 percent from the field.
"A lot of attention is paid to his numbers without really an understanding of how different their (European) game is and their style of play," Kahn said. "Especially with his Barcelona team who plays a very half-court oriented game., which frankly, probably is suitable for his style."
Kahn expects to receive immediate contribution from the 20-year-old point guard when he joins the team next season.
"There's no question about it," Kahn said. I don't know yet what his defined role will be next year, but there is no question that he will play next year and he will play significant minutes."
Rubio will be in Minneapolis on Monday, with his introductory press conference being held on Tuesday.