Blog Entry

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

Posted on: March 14, 2011 9:02 am
Edited on: March 14, 2011 9:18 am
Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn denies coach Kurt Rambis is set to be fired after the season. Posted by Ben Golliver. kurt-rambis

Last Friday,'s Ken Berger reported that trouble could be brewing for Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis, as Minnesota struggles aimlessly through another lost season. 
Of far greater certainty is the status of coach Kurt Rambis, who appears to be on his way out after only two seasons. Though management won't make a final decision until the season is over, sources say there is significant push from within to make a coaching change. Atop the Timberwolves' list of potential successors is Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, one of the people with knowledge of the organization's thinking said. With a young roster clearly lacking in veteran leadership, some members of the Minnesota brain trust believe the team needs a more vocal, energetic coach on the sideline. Rambis is cut from the Phil Jackson cloth of letting his players police themselves, and also has been at odds with Love for long stretches. A coaching change is something Love would not oppose, sources say. Of course, perhaps Rambis would've been more vocal or energetic if he wasn't saddled with among the youngest teams and lowest payrolls in the NBA. 
Over the weekend, Timberwolves president David Kahn denied the report in a brief statement to the Pioneer Press.
"The notion of Kelvin Sampson is completely false," Kahn said, relaying his comments through Wolves media relations director Mike Cristaldi. "That report is not true in all aspects."
As for Rambis, he sounded pretty annoyed.
"I don't comment on things I haven't read, and I never comment on things that cowards say," Rambis said before heading to the team's charter flight to Oakland. "If somebody wants to say something and attach their name to it, that's another matter. Rumors are out there all the time. Anybody can start a rumor, but if they don't attach their name to it, they're a coward."
"I only deal with things I can control," he said. "I do the best job I can every day. I don't worry about rumors and stuff like that. I didn't worry about those kind of things as a player when trade rumors came up, and I don't worry about them now."
The Star Tribune reported that both Kevin Love and Michael Beasley vouched for their coach.
"I worked with him the whole summer and built a great relationship with him," Love said. "No, [any report of friction between the two] is completely false. ... Last year we had our differences. This year there has been nothing like that. For me to say he's not good here would be blasphemy, because this is really only his first season as coach [where] he finally got the players around him that he wanted. I can't be mad. I'm shining under his system. Why would I have a problem with him?"
"I love Kurt," forward Michael Beasley said. "I mean, Kurt, for us, is a great coach. Everybody knew this season was going to be a learning experience. I don't think you can hold [the losing] against him. I have no problem with Kurt. I don't want to change coaches."
Rumors and anonymous sources are the least of Rambis's worries, as the Timberwolves are second to last in the Western Conference, with a record of 17-51, and have so many flaws I don't know where to begin. The Timberwolves are undisciplined (sporting the highest turnover rate in the league), they don't play defense (ranking No. 26 out of 30 in overall efficiency) and they're not particularly potent on offense either, despite the consistent contributions of double-double machine Kevin Love. Many analysts blame Rambis's system for those struggles. 

On top of that, I hate to continue to be the guy to break it to Minnesota: Ricky Rubio is not walking through that door. Sorry, he's just not. Especially not next year, given how Minnesota's season played out this year and the impending labor strife.

Add together the on-court struggles, the revolving door roster and questionable (at best) drafting, and both the coaching staff and management should rightfully be on the hot seat right now. Minnesota has reached the "Could it really be any worse if we totally cleaned house?" stage and that usually results in someone being shown the door, if only to temporarily relieve some of ownership's frustration.

Staying the course just doesn't make sense, not in an environment like this where the boat is spinning madly in circles and taking on water. The only question is how many life rafts will be needed.

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: April 2, 2011 11:29 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

With such a young team like the Wolves, maybe it's time to bring in Mike Woodson as head coach. He had a pretty impressive 5-year improvement in Atlanta.

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:21 am

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

I try to watch the Timberwolves when they're on. I want to see them suceed, but it can be kind of hard to watch.  First off, they are a really young team.  The core of Beasley, and Love is almost ready but the rest could use improvement.  The report includes opinions about how this team can't score under Rambis' system, is just plain wrong.  They put up 100 points frequently. Just look at their schedule. the problem I have with Rambis is that the team he coaches can't finish ballgames.  I'll watch the first three quarters and the T'pups will be up by 6, but I know that it isn't enough.  This team often can't finish in the fourth quarter.  It's frustrating to see them play so well for three quarters, and then piddle it away in the last 12 minutes. Not sure if its going to take a coaching change, a retooled defense, or just a different mentality, but I want to see this team succeed. The talent is there, but something needs to change.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:19 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

Exactly.  That is how it works.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2011 9:02 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

"It is never a good sign when a team owner or team president say that a coaching change is not imminant. That normally means it is going to happen"

By your reasoning, maybe we should tell everyone that we will fire him and then not. 

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2011 7:11 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired


Minnesota has reached the "Could it really be any worse if we totally cleaned house?" stage

The Timberwolves only have 4 of 15 players remaining from their 2009-2010 roster. 

If you want to say they are bad because they are young or they are bad because the haven't played together, that makes sense.  They could also be bad because of bad coaching.  But they have one all-star, a potential solid player in Beasley, they traded for a better center than they have, and Wes Johnson - who was highly tauted at last year's draft - hasn't even finished one season yet, and they have really, really bad point guards. 

But to suggest they need to "clean house" when they already did that is just bad research and weak reporting.

Since: Feb 17, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2011 6:54 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

yes we do watch the wolves in minnesota since 1989! we don't care about phil jackson or the lakers here! & whatever boltnut the lakers used to be in minnesota & won so don't tell me we can't win here! just a die hard wolves fan refuseing to die!

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: March 14, 2011 6:37 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

Wolves contracted to the  Lakers would be scary. Replace: Ratliff, Joe Smith, Walton, Steve Blake with: K Love, Beasley, Flynn and Martell Webster.. it would be nice, just a dream though.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2011 4:48 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

Are there people who actually watch the Wolves play? Why? If Phil Jackson had his way, this might be one of the franchises that gets contracted. Combine the Wolves with the Lakers (Minneapolis ties)... that would bring Love back to LA (UCLA ties). LOL! This team stinks. There aren't even signs its getting better.

Since: Aug 1, 2009
Posted on: March 14, 2011 4:09 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

Wow, can we get someone who actually watches the Wolves play to make a statement on the team? I know the Wolves aren't a good team by any stretch of the imagination, but my guess is this guy has never seen them play this year. They are the youngest team in the league which doesn't excuse but does certainly explain the amount of turnovers per game (and it doesn't help that Darko seems to contribute about half of them). But your statement about not being particularly potent on offense is just downright bad journalism, the Wolves right now are tied for 9th in the league in scoring with the Lakers. They also boast the 6th best 3 point shooting team in the league. Their offense is just fine, the problem is the defense which is extremely leaky. Honestly I don't think the Wolves can get any worse defensively, so the way I see it, that aspect will only get better over time.

And please can someone fill me in on why everyone thinks Rubio will never play for Minnesota? I hear that statement a lot, but no real reasoning to back it up.

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: March 14, 2011 2:10 pm

Wolves' Kahn denies Rambis is set to be fired

It is never a good sign when a team owner or team president say that a coaching change is not imminant. That normally means it is going to happen. 

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