It's the ritual mating cry of the NBA fan, a Star Trek-inspired dig birthed by Bill Simmons and given new life each and every time Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn does something silly. Since he took over the T-Wolves' front office in 2009, Kahn has done a lot of silly things. This joke gets plenty of use.
And yes, this is one of those times. On Saturday, in search of a new hire to replace quasi-fired current coach Kurt Rambis, Kahn turned his attentions to -- get this -- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. No, this is not a joke. From the New York Daily News:
The coaching carousel in Minnesota took an unlikely turn as Kurt Rambis was being thrown off and Bernie Bickerstaff was preparing to jump on. The ride operator, Timberwolves GM David Kahn, made a run at Mike Krzyzewski.
Talk about a waste of time. Coach K once turned down a chance to go to the Lakers and coach Kobe Bryant in his prime. Did Kahn really think that he could get Krzyzewski to leave his Duke kingdom? He did.
"He tried to get him," said one Kahn confidante.
The idea, according to the Daily News, was to lure Coach K with the promise of a chance to coach incoming Spanish guard Ricky Rubio. Kahn drafted Rubio with the fifth pick in 2009, only to watch Rubio decline a buyout offer, return to club team DKV Joventut, be traded to FC Barcelona, and spend two years posting mediocre numbers. All the while, Rubio's status as a one-time teenage phenom faded.
In that same draft, Kahn took Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn with the very next (No. 6) pick, passing on the likes of Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings and Jrue Holiday, all of whom have been vastly more effective pros than Flynn. With the third first-round pick in that draft, Kahn selected Ty Lawson -- another player who's been better than Flynn -- and then traded him to the Denver Nuggets.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Timberwolves roster is a mishmash of positional uncertainty. Derrick Williams -- a tweener power forward -- joined Michael Beasley and Kevin Love in similar roles when the T-Wolves selected him No. 2 overall last week. The Timberwolves lack a true center, and Wes Johnson has yet to prove he's a valid pro shooting guard, and, well, basically the whole roster is a mess. There's talent there, but it's a mess.
In other words, Krzyzewski was never, ever, ever going to consider leaving Duke for the Target Center. If the Lakers couldn't lure him with a giant contract and the opportunity to coach Kobe Bryant in Bryant's championship years, the Timberwolves -- one of the most mismanaged franchises in the league, and one that exists in a freezing (but charming!) midwestern city, not in Southern California -- had absolutely no chance.
How many NBA offers has Coach K turned down at this point? 10? 50? How many were better offers than the 2011 Timberwolves? 10? 50?
When Diamond Leung and I were emailing about this on Sunday, Diamond jokingly asked how that conversation -- Kahn calling Coach K -- went. I'm guessing it sounded a little something like this:
"Hi, Mike? This is Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn. Thanks for taking my --"
Poking fun at Kahn is not just for NBA fans anymore. And for that, we should all be grateful.