The game of basketball can be a cruel sport. Three years ago Kurt Rambis was in cruise control. He was a valued assistant on a championship caliber club and was assumed by many to be the heir apparent to Phil Jackson. Not one to sit and wait for his ship to come in, Rambis left the Lakers to become a head coach in Minnesota.
At the time, Rambis’ departure seemed premature. As it turns out he had seen the writing on the wall. Kurt must have known there was no way he’d ever inherit PJ’s throne. Jim Buss has made it pretty obvious that he’s set out to sever all ties to Jackson in Lakerland.
Just as Rambis knew his fate in Los Angeles, he surely had to know how things were going to end in Minnesota as well. Heck, I knew it the day he was hired.
As if a record of 32-132 in two seasons weren’t embarrassing enough, the horribly run T-Wolves waited nearly three months before letting Kurt go. Never mind that this rumor began the second the season ended. David Kahn took his sweet time in deciding the fate of Rambis. Rumor has it Rambis was kept in place long enough to get Ricky Rubio to finally sack up and take the NBA plunge. Again, just a rumor but you could easily see the Wolves making such a classy move all things being considered.
As most of his career in professional basketball was spent as a Laker it is certainly sad to see Rambis endure such a horrible ordeal in his first foray into coaching. However he had to know this was the only way things could end in hoops Siberia.
Kahn has helped redefine the term basketball illiterate. He drafts as if advised by Elgin Baylor. He’s made personnel moves reminiscent of Isiah Thomas. Just for good measure he handled the firing of Rambis with the delicate touch of Al Davis.
Rambis was setup to fail from the jump. He had a Pacman Jones’ chance at an open bar of getting out unscathed. The hope is that this is not the end of the line for Rambis.
What I can’t come to grips with is why Rambis chose Minnesota when he was rumored for more promising gigs including the new and improved Philadelphia 76ers.
Oh well…you live and you learn. Having gone from the Lakers to the T-Wolves I hope Rambis has learned never to go against the family again. Then again, it wasn’t like the Buss family had any real future plans for Kurt. In that case I just hope the stench of the Target Center doesn’t follow him on his basketball travels.