David Kahn (sports executive)

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David Kahn
Born (1961-07-28) July 28, 1961 (age 60)
OrganisationParis Basketball

David Kahn (born July 28, 1961) is an American sports executive, attorney, and former sportswriter. He is the former president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association.

Early life and career[edit]

Kahn was born to a Jewish family in Portland, Oregon with three siblings Robert Kahn, now living in Jerusalem, Steven Kahn, a personal injury lawyer in Portland, and Sarah Kahn Glass.[citation needed] His father, Garry L. Kahn, was the founder of personal injury firm Kahn & Kahn which his brother now runs.[1]

He attended Woodrow Wilson High School (Portland, Oregon) before matriculating to UCLA, where he graduated with a degree in English in 1983.[2][3] While at UCLA, he was sports editor for the Daily Bruin for two years and a Los Angeles Times intern.[4] Upon his graduation, he returned to his hometown of Portland and worked as a sportswriter for The Oregonian from 1983 through 1989, where he covered the local and national sports scene, including the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers.[5][6]

After leaving the Oregonian, Kahn received his law degree from NYU[7] and worked with Proskauer Rose, the same law firm that represents the big four North American sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL) in many of their legal matters, for several years.

Basketball career[edit]

National Basketball Association[edit]

Kahn was hired by the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1995, remaining with the organization until 2004, working mostly on the business side of the franchise.[8][9] After his tenure with the Pacers, Kahn returned to Portland and spearheaded an effort to lure the Montreal Expos or another major-league team to Portland; the Expos ultimately relocated to Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals. Kahn's attempts to bring Major League Baseball to Portland were unsuccessful. Kahn was also involved in real estate ventures in the Portland area. In 2005, he purchased several teams in the NBA D-League.[10]

On May 22, 2009, Kahn was hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves as president of basketball operations to replace Kevin McHale.[9] In the 2009 NBA Draft, he selected three point guards in the first round, but notably passed on Stephen Curry, and shortly after traded the third, Ty Lawson, to the Denver Nuggets.[11] Kahn also drafted multiple players that are considered busts, such as Jonny Flynn, Wesley Johnson, and Derrick Williams. Echoing comments made by a number of columnists after Kahn made several controversial moves in the summer of 2010, ESPN writers Chad Ford and John Hollinger called his tenure "baffling" to them.[12]

On May 2, 2013 Kahn was released from the Timberwolves after they did not exercise their option on his contract, instead hiring Flip Saunders for a second stint with the team.[13]


On July 12, 2018, Kahn was announced as the president of Paris Basketball in the LNB Pro B[14]


  1. ^ "Kahn & Kahn". Kahn & Kahn. 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-17. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Can David Kahn save the NBDL?". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  3. ^ "From Daily Bruin to Timberwolves". UCLA Magazine. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  4. ^ "UCLA USC THE RIVALRY". Los Angeles Times. 2000-11-17. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  5. ^ "The David Kahn File". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 2009-05-21. Archived from the original on 2009-05-24. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  6. ^ "Indiana Pacers Playoffs 2002 Media Guide" (PDF). Indiana Pacers. 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2009-06-26. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Dwight Jaynes (2009-05-21). "David Kahn is the new top guy in Minnesota". Archived from the original on 2009-06-27. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  8. ^ "Minnesota Timberwolves name David Kahn president of basketball operations – NBA Blog".
  9. ^ a b "Kahn to be named to post Friday". ESPN. Associated Press. May 22, 2009.
  10. ^ NBDL news release (2005-03-21). "The D-League is Expanding to the Southwest". Archived from the original on February 3, 2006. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
  11. ^ "Wolves Take Rubio, Flynn, Trade Lawson To Denver". WCCO.com. Associated Press. June 25, 2009. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  12. ^ Chad Ford (August 2, 2010). "Future Power Rankings: Teams 26-30". Retrieved August 2, 2010. The baffling tenure of ... David Kahn and the long-running incompetence of owner Glen Taylor combine to give the Timberwolves the lowest score for management...
  13. ^ Windhost, Brian (May 3, 2013). "Flip Saunders in, David Kahn out". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013.
  14. ^ "Hangin' With ... Paris Basketball President David Kahn". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com. Retrieved 2019-05-15.