The Minnesota Timberwolves today named David Kahn as the franchise’s President of Basketball Operations. With nearly 15 years of front office experience in both the NBA and the NBA Development League, and 24 years of experience in positions directly related to professional basketball, Kahn will assume responsibility for all decisions made within the Timberwolves basketball operations department.
“This is a milestone decision for our franchise and I couldn’t be more excited by our choice,” Taylor said. “David has studied under one of the most storied basketball minds in the league in Donnie Walsh and has clearly demonstrated that he has the intelligence, creativity, leadership and passion to take our team to the next level.”
“This was a process that we were determined to perform with the utmost diligence and care. By speaking with legendary individuals like Jerry West and Pat Riley, we developed a short list of candidates whom eventually led us to the conclusion that it was time to inject a fresh voice into our basketball operations. We’ve worked hard over the last few seasons to put our team in a position to succeed, and I’m confident that with David’s vision we’ll continue that progress.”
Kahn brings a wealth of diverse skills and experience to the Wolves stemming from previous positions in both the on-court and business sides of professional basketball. In addition to working as a journalist covering the league with both the Portland Oregonian and NBC Sports, and as a lawyer providing counsel to the NBA with Proskauer Rose LLP, Kahn worked in the front office of the Indiana Pacers for nine years, including four seasons as General Manager where we worked with and learned from Walsh. Most recently, Kahn has been involved in the acquisition and ownership of several NBA Development League franchises, where he has overseen the development of numerous players now in the NBA and presided over nine coaching hires.
“Minnesota is a team on the rise and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to join the Timberwolves organization,” Kahn said. “The team already has some significant pieces. I know Mr. Taylor is committed to building a playoff team and I look forward to working with him to put a plan in place that will allow the Timberwolves to achieve sustained success. I promise that nobody will outwork or outthink us as we build one of the best front offices in the league and a team that begins a climb to the top.”
From the time Kahn joined the Pacers in 1995 through his departure in 2004, the team compiled a 430-276 (.609) record, made eight playoff appearances and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals four times, including an NBA Finals appearance in 2000. Kahn also served as the point person for the design, development and marketing of Conseco Fieldhouse, widely considered one of the finest arenas in the NBA. He also served three years as Indiana’s representative on the NBA’s Competition Committee, and assisted Walsh with all facets of the Pacers’ basketball operations, including signing players, hiring coaches, making trades and managing the salary cap.
Kahn comes highly recommended by a number of his former colleagues:
“David helped me as much as anyone that I worked with during my time in Indiana, and his work with Conseco Fieldhouse made it the best building in the league,” Walsh said. “David has a wealth of experience and will do a great job in Minnesota. He’s very capable of capitalizing on the position the Timberwolves franchise is in and taking that team to the next level.”
“David is a remarkably gifted individual, with a combination of high intelligence, a major-league work ethic, and a great understanding of what makes teams successful,” San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said. “His ability to understand the dynamics of an NBA franchise is a real strength and he’ll be someone the Timberwolves can look to for leadership and sound decision-making.”
“I think the world of David. I’ve known him since we first crossed paths back at UCLA and I have nothing but admiration and respect for all that he’s accomplished throughout his career,” said Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown, who worked with Kahn for two seasons in Indiana. “David will bring a tremendous background to the job, particularly from his time with Donnie at the Pacers. I’ve always had a fondness for the Timberwolves, and with the group of exciting young players they’ve assembled, I think they have a great opportunity in front of them. I’m thrilled that David is getting this chance and I think he’ll do a phenomenal job.”
“I’m very happy for David. He’s a very intelligent guy and knows the ins and outs of this league as well as anyone,” said Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird, who coached the Pacers while Kahn was the team’s GM. “He has all the tools to get the job done in Minnesota.”
“An excellent hire. David has great knowledge of both the basketball and business sides of an NBA franchise,” said Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle, who was Bird’s assistant at Indiana. “David is a highly-motivated person that will bring out the best in the people who work with him.”