David Kahn 'Jokes' About Irene Pollin, NBA Draft Lottery Conspiracies

David Kahn is the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who lost out to the Cleveland Cavaliers in their quest to get the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Afterwards, Kahn certainly came across as a little salty, saying that the NBA has a "habit" of having great storylines at the NBA Draft lottery.

Since last year's winner was Your Washington Wizards, Kahn's soliloquy included a nod to Irene Pollin.

"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."    

Ah yes. Nothing like attacking sick children or widowed women. Well done, #KAAAAHHHHNNN.

Now, there is a school of thought out there that Kahn was joking when he said these comments. Draft Express has video for you to judge for yourself. (Kahn's comments begin at the 1:54 mark).

So was he kidding? Not to get all philosophical here, but what is a joke, really? It's essentially a point with an element of truth, delivered in a certain way with certain timing to purposely blow it out of proportion and get your audience at ease. Based on my experience, in a professional interview context such as this, a joke with no meaning is traditionally delivered in the following way:

  • STEP 1: A number of serious answers.
  • STEP 2: When you receive a somewhat threatening question, pull out your best one-liner to get the press to relax.
  • STEP 3: Pause for the press to inevitably laugh because they don't know what else to do.
  • STEP 4: Continue with a serious answer, preferably saying something like "No, but" to indicate that the previous statement is not to be taken seriously. To drive home the point, speak slowly for effect to show that you are thinking out your answer.
Kahn completed Step 1, then did Step 2, though he was a little long-winded. He then extended Step 2 by saying "once the kid hit the dais, we were dead," pausing for Step 3. At that point, if it was truly a throwaway joke, he would have stopped and said something serious. Instead, he said what he said above, speaking slowly for effect, then repeated Step 2. 

Maybe Kahn has a different handbook for telling a joke, but based on the way these things usually work, there was probably an element of truth to what he said.

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