Wessel: With Ricky Rubio in fold, 'Book of Kahn' about to be written
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Seven-hundred and six days after selecting Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio in the 2009 NBA Draft, it appears David Kahn has gotten his man.
Word broke through several media outlets on Wednesday that, after a long wait, the No. 5 overall pick finally is joining the NBA's worst team.
There is no question some of the shine has come off of Rubio since YouTube videos made folks compare to him to "Pistol" Pete Maravich. But this is still a huge feather in Kahn's otherwise empty hat.
Now comes the hard part for Kahn, Rubio and the Wolves: the 20-year-old must somehow live up to the hype and promise of nearly two years' worth of expectations and hope.
Rubio's draft stock was never higher than it was in the summer of 2009, after Spain's 118-107 loss to Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Since then, his play has regressed to the point he isn't even starting for his club team that is about to play in the Liga ACB this month.
Supporters of Rubio and the Wolves are quick to point out that the European brand of basketball is different that the NBA and that seniority and teamwork play a much bigger role than they do in the United States.
But the bottom line is, regardless of his current form, Rubio will be expected from Day 1 to somehow turn around the NBA's most dysfunctional franchise.
The team has been using Rubio's name in radio ads for months, and Kahn has been promising season ticket holders he will be in the fold for next season.
Kahn may have, at least temporarily, saved his job. But after completely hitching his wagon to Rubio in 2009, his tenure as GM is now tied directly to the Spanish heartthrob.
If Rubio can somehow make a seamless transition to the NBA style of play and throw half-court, alley-oop passes to Kevin Love, Kahn will be a genius.
If Rubio struggles early on and loses playing time to Luke Ridnour, the few remaining diehard Wolves fans will chase Kahn out of town with pitchforks and torches.
Either way, after countless parallel trades, salary-cap moves and jockeying for position, the "Book of Kahn" finally is about to be written.