Since David Kahn joined the Indiana Pacers at the start of the 1995-96 season, he has been at the forefront of the franchise’s many achievements, among them the lobbying for Conseco Fieldhouse and the determination to build not an arena, but a fieldhouse. Additionally, as the No. 2 person in the organization behind Pacers President Donnie Walsh, Kahn has been instrumental in a wide array of moves affecting the team – from player contracts to trades to the NBA Draft to this past summer’s coordination of the Pacers’ offseason workout plans.
Now, with the Pacers having launched the next millennium in their new home, Kahn’s continuing efforts will focus on making the Pacers the NBA’s model franchise, both on and off the court.
From the beginning, Kahn shared the vision and dream of Walsh and team owners Mel and Herb Simon to build a fieldhouse that would encompass the rich tradition and basketball heritage of Indiana, but also included the very best of today’s modern amenities. In addition, Kahn was responsible for developing the master plan for the sale of suites, club seats and building sponsorships for the new fieldhouse.
This will be Kahn’s fourth season as the Pacers’ General Manager. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business and basketball operations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment. From overseeing the basketball operations to the booking of a musical act to perform at the Fieldhouse, it is a role that requires Kahn to use numerous skills he developed during a multi-dimensional career.
Kahn represents the Pacers on the NBA’s Competition Committee and is part of a six-person Steering Committee that helps shape the agenda. This past year he successfully pushed with others for the liberalization of rules governing offseason player workouts.
Prior to being named to his current position in July 1998 by Walsh, Kahn served as Assistant to the President for one season and Vice President and Assistant General Manager for two years. His specific duties during that early period included administration of the team’s salary cap; staying abreast of NBA developments as they related to the Pacers and representing the team in their quest for the Fieldhouse.
Said Walsh at the time of Kahn’s promotion: “David has expanded his role from dealing with the salary cap and arena issues to more responsibilities in the running of the franchise on a day-to-day basis. David is well-equipped to work both on the basketball and business side. He has a background as both a lawyer and a journalist which gives him a broad perspective in dealing with the day-to-day operations of an NBA franchise.”
Kahn, 40, came to the Pacers in November 1995 from the New York law firm Proskauer Rose, which is primary outside counsel to the NBA, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Association of Tennis Professionals Tour and other sports entities. Kahn worked as an associate in the Litigation Department. In addition to his law practice, Kahn also served from 1991-95 as the basketball consultant for “NBA Showtime” at NBC Sports in New York, working closely with the show’s producers and on-air talent, including Bob Costas and Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving.
Before moving to New York to attend NYU School of Law in 1990, Kahn was an NBA sportswriter and columnist for six years at the Portland Oregonian and, during college, a writer for the Los Angeles Times. He also wrote on a freelance basis for such publications as the Washington Post, Boston Globe and Inside Sports. Kahn earned a degree in English at UCLA in 1983.
Kahn is married to Kerry McClenahan, who founded and is a principal with McClenahan Bruer Communications, an advertising/public relations firm in Portland, Oregon. They have a daughter, Marika, and a newborn son, Kellen Juda.