I hate to do this to Kurt Rambis. With the rest of the NBA piling on the Minnesota Timberwolves faster than a drunken and half naked Megan Fox at a frat house, it doesn’t feel right that this should be coming from the best team in the league. Playing the bully role has never been Lake Show style. We’ll leave that to Kevin Garnett and his tasteless trash talk. But given the history between Rambis and the Laker organization it is hard to ignore this elephant in the room.
When Rambis abandoned ship for the chance to take the helm of his own vessel, we wished him the best of luck. Rambis has been an iconic fixture in the Laker family. From his days as an enforcer during the 80’s to his flirtations with the front office to his tenure under Phil Jackson as an assistant, Rambis has been in the Purple and Gold fold for nearly three decades. This blogger even has fond memories of his youth from attending Byron Scott’s camp when those goggles that made an appearance.
But that was then and this is now.
When Rambis choose to take the T-Wolves offer, he and the entire hoops world knew it was an uphill battle. Having been rumored for jobs in Philadelphia, Sacramento and Indiana, it was a real head-scratcher that Rambis would take David Kahn’s opportunity.
After selecting 18 point guards in the ’09 draft and then giving Darko Milicic a $20-million deal, Kahn looks like he’s got the Matt Millen touch. A far cry from the front office Rambis left behind in Los Angeles.
Currently, Minnesota is mired in the NBA basement. Giving up a league worst 114 points per game, the Wolves have been toothless losing their last five games and being beaten by 20 points or more in four of those contests. That’s not exactly a great starting point given the way the Lakers made short work of the Blazers on Sunday.
In addition to his team’s struggles, Rambis is being held to some very public scrutiny for his limited minutes committed to Kevin Love. Maybe Rambis is just taking a page out of the PJ handbook for tweaking egos and tempering expectations. Maybe he’s just as clueless as Kahn. Only time will tell but you’ve got to wonder how much time Kurt has left in the Twin Cities.
While the preseason means little, Rambis did get the first laugh after embarrassing the Lakers in London. However if form holds true then it will be Jackson who will get the last chuckle. The Wolves have some good young talent but waiting on all those pieces to gel could prove a task too tough for Rambis to endure. With Phil on a one-year deal, perhaps Kurt is just setting himself up for a potential return to LA LA Land. Of course, Brian Shaw could be the man being groomed to assume Phil’s high chair. In that case, Kurt will just have to lick his wounds and move on.