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View Full Version : Former Pacers GM David Kahn discusses his time w/Pacers



Smoothdave1
06-19-2009, 12:56 AM
Saw this on RealGm boards and it seems pretty legit. Apparently, a poster from a T-Wolves board had gone to a breakfast recently where Kahn spoke about his plans for the Wolves and reflected a little bit on his time in Indy and a few of the deals & draft picks that were made. I found it pretty interesting: www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=914495


One of the guys asked him why we should have faith in his ability to build a winning team.

- He started by noting that he basically tutored under Donnie Walsh (he was the GM for the Pacers from 1995 to 2004), calling Donnie one of the most brilliant basketball minds in the league (true).

- Noting his tenure dates, I asked him how much involvement he had in the trades for Jermaine O'Neal, Ron Artest and Brad Miller. Here's where it got interesting....

- The story behind the O'Neal trade was actually very telling. The Pacers had tried to trade for O'Neal two years before it actually happened, a year before O'Neal's rookie deal expired. Jermaine was buried in the rotation, and wasn't happy about it, but resigned with Portland under the promise that he'd play more. That didn't happen, and O'Neal and his agent got very upset. But that year, the Blazers lost that heartbreaker series to the Lakers in the WCF. Because of that, they had a knee jerk reaction and decided they needed every player from 1 to 12 to be able to contribute; thus the lopsided trade that sent O'Neal to Indiana for Dale Davis. Kahn noted that as an example of how a team always has to be prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they come up...had the Blazers won that series like it looked like they were going to, the Pacers probably wouldn't have been able to get O'Neal.

- In terms of the Ron Artest trade, Kahn said that the main goal was to clear Jalen Rose's contract, but that while they knew the talent level of Artest, they obviously weren't aware of all the demons in his head (to be fair, at the time, no one knew how troubled Ron was). He said it was an object lesson he's learned from to pay attention to the fine details and not just the numbers.

- He also noted a lesson learned when they drafted Tinsley. Another player with a lot of talent but a bad attitude, but interestingly enough, he said that that wasn't the problem with that pick. The problem was that the Pacers had fully vetted Tinsley but didn't even have Tony Parker on the board that year, which really emphasized for him the importance of scouting.

- Kahn then mentioned that he felt team did themselves a diservice by not scouting pro players on other teams. He wants to get a full, in house database of every player in the league so that when a trade or free agency opportunity comes up, the team has an easily accessible full history on that player.


A couple of things stood out for me:

-- I think Bird picked up some tricks from Walsh. I would consider the Portland deal last year a knee jerk reaction by the Blazers. Althought a tentative deal was worked out prior to the draft, Portland saw Bayless and his stock fall right at the draft and were able to grab him, but it also cost them our two starters in the backcourt for the next few years in Jack and Rush and what looks to be a solid reserve in McRoberts.

-- I think Bird and his staff are also looking at the finer details since he has been at the helm. While Bird may get chastised for trading for and drafting "milk drinkers", he has learned from the mistakes of Tinsley and Ron Ron. I think looking at the finer details and seeing what a player is able to bring both on and off the court has become the norm in Indy. I would argue that was the case with Roy & Brandon as well as guys like Troy, Dunleavy, Ford, Jack, etc.

-- Lastly, I think that Bird has put a greater emphasis on scouting and finding quality players. The last few years, he has struck out on Harrison and Williams, but hit a grand slam in Granger and seems to have scored on both Rush and Hibbert.

Sollozzo
06-19-2009, 01:27 AM
Thanks for posting this. Interesting read. If we had traded O'Neal for Davis in 98 (don't know if that's who we would've given up then, but have a hard time believing we would've traded Dale that early), then I think Peck really would have been sent to an early grave.






- In terms of the Ron Artest trade, Kahn said that the main goal was to clear Jalen Rose's contract, but that while they knew the talent level of Artest, they obviously weren't aware of all the demons in his head (to be fair, at the time, no one knew how troubled Ron was). He said it was an object lesson he's learned from to pay attention to the fine details and not just the numbers.




I can already hear the typing of a Chicago-based poster that paid attention to the Bulls in the Artest years and knew that Artest had big problems.

;)

Infinite MAN_force
06-19-2009, 01:44 AM
Thanks for posting this. Interesting read. If we had traded O'Neal for Davis in 98 (don't know if that's who we would've given up then, but have a hard time believing we would've traded Dale that early), then I think Peck really would have been sent to an early grave.




I can already hear the typing of a Chicago-based poster that paid attention to the Bulls in the Artest years and knew that Artest had big problems.

;)

You may have the wrong Davis. I bet it would have been Antonio for Jermaine in 98... that would have been very interesting. Get Jermaine instead of Bender and keep Dale.

Anthem
06-19-2009, 09:28 AM
You may have the wrong Davis. I bet it would have been Antonio for Jermaine in 98... that would have been very interesting. Get Jermaine instead of Bender and keep Dale.
That would have been a dream come true. JO always needed a guy like Dale to play next to... it would free him to be Smits' replacement instead of Dale's replacement, which would have changed his whole career arc.

ChicagoJ
06-19-2009, 10:27 AM
I can already hear the typing of a Chicago-based poster that paid attention to the Bulls in the Artest years and knew that Artest had big problems.

;)

Yeah, I'm calling B.S. on that one. They knew they were making a high stakes gamble with their franchise and it didn't pay off. The other part is more interesting though...

how the :censored: do you make trades when you are "not scouting pro players on other teams"?

Hitman02
06-19-2009, 11:25 AM
Wasn't it when Ronny was with the Bulls that he tried getting a job at Best Buy for the discount?

ChicagoJ
06-19-2009, 11:37 AM
Wasn't it when Ronny was with the Bulls that he tried getting a job at Best Buy for the discount?

Yes, but it was Circuit City.

cdash
06-19-2009, 11:37 AM
Wasn't it when Ronny was with the Bulls that he tried getting a job at Best Buy for the discount?

Haha, yeah, I think it was actually a Circuit City, but that was definitely Artest.

Sollozzo
06-19-2009, 11:58 AM
how the :censored: do you make trades when you are "not scouting pro players on other teams"?


That part puzzled me a little bit. If they weren't "scouting pro players on other teams", then why were they so enamored with JO?

Hicks
06-19-2009, 12:01 PM
Yeah, I was also confused by that. You'd think every team has everyone scouted heavily. You'd think.

travmil
06-19-2009, 12:08 PM
Yeah, I was also confused by that. You'd think every team has everyone scouted heavily. You'd think.

Well I would think you could get away with most. There's no need to scout Kobe or LeBron. Neither of those guys are getting traded, and you see all you need to see of them all the time anyway. I think most starters would be scouted. It's the benchwarmers that would get you.

The part I was honked off most about is how in the hell do you not even have Tony Parker on your draft board. You mean to tell me they thought there were 60 players better than him?

ChicagoJ
06-19-2009, 12:33 PM
No wonder they "couldn't afford to pay two coaches". They must have been a real fly-by-night operation back then.

ChicagoJ
06-19-2009, 02:28 PM
Perhaps I haven't paid close enough attention - what is Kevin McHale's job responsibility now?

rexnom
06-19-2009, 02:34 PM
Perhaps I haven't paid close enough attention - what is Kevin McHale's job responsibility now?
None. Kahn will GM and Mark Jackson might coach.

ChicagoJ
06-19-2009, 02:39 PM
Is he unemployed or is he a "mascot"?

rexnom
06-19-2009, 02:53 PM
Is he unemployed or is he a "mascot"?
I think he's done.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4265949

aceace
06-19-2009, 11:36 PM
As far as scouting goes, IMHO they had reports but were just not updated like they should have been.