Two with Pacers ties lead Wolves?

May 7, 2009
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kahnFormer Indiana Pacers executive David Kahn has surfaced as the leading candidate to replace Kevin McHale as Minnesota Timberwolves general manager. Former Pacers player Fred Hoiberg is being considered for a vice president position within the Timberwolves front office.

Kahn, a former Portland Oregonian sports reporter and columnist who later earned a law degree, was Donnie Walsh’s right-hand man in helping lobby to get Conseco Fieldhouse built. Kahn, 47, also was the Pacers’ point man on Fieldhouse design and construction issues. When Kahn joined the Pacers in November, 1995, there was still debate about whether Conseco Fieldhouse was necessary. Some local folks were still arguing that an updated Market Square Arena would suffice. Kahn was key in winning support for the project from City-County Councilors and Capital Improvement Board members.

Kahn parted ways with the Pacers in 2002 to return to Portland with his wife—who has a successful business there. Since leaving the Pacers, Kahn was instrumental in getting the NBA’s Developmental League on its feet, and operating several teams. Kahn later served as leader of an unsuccessful effort to bring Major League Baseball to Portland.
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  • The fact is, David Kahn attempted to take far more credit for the design and building of Conseco Fieldhouse than he deserved. He had a huge ego, could be incredibly rude to commoners and was well known for getting into an altercation when he told the Indianapolis cop who was ticketing his illegally parked car, Don't you know who I am? There wasn't a person in the Pacer organization who wasn't glad to see him go, including Walsh.
  • Let me see if I have this right. Walsh hires Kahn. Later, can't wait to see him go. Conclusion: Another bad hire by Walsh. Over his last six years with the Pacers, that is consistent with his overall track record ... one bad acquisition and misstep after another.
  • Yeah, Matt, all Walsh did was get the Pacers into the playoffs 14 out of 15 years with six trips to the Eastern Conference finals.
  • Yes, Mr. Artist, and lets not forget, Mr. Walsh also presided over one of the biggest melt downs in professional sports which occurred right here in Indianapolis during Walsh's last three years here. That's his legacy. After all, he exists in a world that measures success by championships, not playoff appearances. But Walsh's biggest failure was not in what he didn't achieve on the court, but the deal he negotiated with city officials for the Fieldhouse lease agreement. Apparently that deal is such a loser, it has put this city's NBA frnachise on the brink of financial extinction. Either that or the current Pacers owners and managers are liars.
  • Like so many, Mark, you have no idea what you're talking about ... the issues with the Pacers and the fieldhouse are incredibly complex and do not fall at the feet of any one person or entity. As always, it's much easier to stand on the sidelines and take shots than it is to actually be in the game.
  • How do you know I'm not in the game, genius?
  • Mark,
    You say Walsh's biggest failure was the deal he negotitated with the city..I believe you would be wrong. As general manager at the time, David Kahn was more instrumental in brokering the deal, not Walsh. Walsh was too busy building something else - the only Pacers team to reach the NBA Finals!

    Walsh's only failure was being extremely kind-hearted and because of that, second chances often took precedence over decisions that may have been better for the organization.

    I can live with that legacy.
  • Let me get this straight. Mr. Artist says David Kahn takes more credit than he deserves. Elizabeth says Kahn was responsible for negotiating the Fieldhouse deal, which now appears to be a huge loser for the franchise. How convenient. And as far as Walsh making those kind-hearted decisions that you can live with. Fine, but it seems many of those decisions have put the franchise in a position to be a great money loser over the last decade. And now the taxpayers are being asked to not only live with but pay for those mistakes. Meanwhile, Walsh has galloped off to N.Y. Happy trails.
  • I had the pleasure of knowing David Kahn and his wife and worked with him on several occasions. I found him to be very personable, professional and was the type of person that got things done. He is a highly-intelligent, kind-hearted person. His time here with the Pacers was one of tremendous gains. To suggest anything otherwise is both irresponsible and offensive, but often in these missives that's par for the course.

    Plus...he's a UCLA Bruin!
  • In my dealings with David over the years, I found him to be professional and courteous. But, perhaps most importantly to me as a news reporter, whether the news was good or bad, he never failed to return a phone call or sit down for an interview. Thanks, as always, for reading.

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  1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

  5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.

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