David Kahn (sports executive)
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
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. His father, Garry L. Kahn, was the founder of personal injury firm Kahn & Kahn which his brother now runs.
He attended Woodrow Wilson High School (Portland, Oregon) before matriculating to UCLA, where he graduated with a degree in English in 1983. While at UCLA, he was sports editor for the Daily Bruin for two years and a Los Angeles Times intern. 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.
After leaving the Oregonian, Kahn received his law degree from NYU 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.
National Basketball Association
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. 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.
On May 22, 2009, Kahn was hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves as president of basketball operations to replace Kevin McHale. 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. 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.
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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...
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