MINNEAPOLIS, May 18 (UPI) -- Minnesota Timberwolves General Manager David Kahn said Wednesday comments he made implying the NBA draft lottery is fixed were meant as a joke.
The Timberwolves, who finished with the NBA's worst record at 17-65, nevertheless will pick second in next month's NBA draft after losing a lottery to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Minnesota had a 25 percent chance of drawing the top pick.
The Cavs were represented on the stage at the event by 14-year-old Nick Gilbert, the son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who has a rare nerve disorder.
"I also feel strongly that once the 14-year-old kid hit the dais with us, we were dead," Kahn told reporters after the event. "There was no way. This league has a habit, and I'm just going to say a habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines."
After an outpouring of complaints from basketball fans, Kahn told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he was "astonished" at the reaction. His comments were meant as a joke and reporters who were there took them that way, he said.
"It was completely meant in a light-hearted fashion," Kahn said. "And it was received as such."
The Timberwolves have an unlucky history in the draft lottery. They have entered the lottery four times with the first- or second-best odds (1992, 1993, 2010, 2011) and have failed to nab the top pick each time.