David Stern can't fine David Kahn or the T-Wolves enough for the Minnesota GM's comments after the NBA Draft lottery Tuesday night. Literally, he can't do it. No dollar amount -- not $100,000, not $1 million, not even a kijillion bajillion dollars -- sends a strong enough message about the damage caused by Kahn's comments.
Because a strong message doesn't need to go to David Kahn.
The message needs to go to everyone else.
By insinuating that the NBA manipulated the top of the draft lottery to take care of Cleveland -- hell, he didn't insinuate it; he said it -- Kahn moved an entire league one step closer to game-fixing referee Tim Donaghy.
And that's a step that cannot be tolerated.
Kahn wasn't just griping or whining. Gripers and whiners can be mocked and taunted. They can be ignored, because the dishonor they bring is primarily on themselves. What Kahn did was to suggest dishonor for an entire league.
Look, we all know that NBA lottery conspiracy theories are fun. Pat Ewing to the Knicks. LeBron to nearby Cleveland. Derrick Rose to hometown Chicago. Weird things happen, and people like you and I can talk about it. We can wonder. We can gripe and whine.
David Kahn, as a team official, can't say a word. Because by saying a word, he gives those conspiracy theories weight they don't need or deserve. Listen, I don't believe those theories, not even for a second. That's a secret on the level of Roswell, something so big that it couldn't possibly be contained for decades. So in absence of actual facts -- without a picture of an alien in New Mexico, without a picture of a loaded lottery envelope from 1985 -- I refuse to believe something so insane.
But today, NBA fans all over the country are discussing the latest NBA lottery conspiracy theory, and they're able to attach that theory to a high-ranking team official.
David Stern has to suspend Kahn from the league. For a year. Maybe forever.
Forget sending a message to David Kahn. That idiot wouldn't understand anyway. David Stern needs to send that message to us.
UPDATE, 10:05 AM: OK, so here's video of Kahn's comments. It's not nearly as nefarious as the stories coming out of the draft suggest. That said, he's making light -- in his own awkward, David Kahn way -- of a widow and a kid with a nerve disorder. And he does raise the whiff of conspiracy theories. So I'm torn. Not sure he should be banished from the league anymore, no. But I'm pretty sure the league isn't a better place because David Kahn is in it.