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Kevin McHale – Long Arms For Offense and Defense

Kevin McHale always had the feeling that he was very special and playing with a special team. Together with Larry Bird and Robert Perish, a lot of guys would say that if they played with their grandmothers, they’d still be a winning team.

Just pass the ball to them. Combined, the three of them, they were arguably the best frontline in history.

He has something from Ireland (his father was Irish-American) and something from Croatia (his mother being half Croatian half American).

Kevin was drafted by the Celtics in the 1980 NBA draft as a third overall pick and didn’t have an immediate impact the way Magic Johnson had, for example, for the Lakers.

He was always a great player to be with and he was progressing fast and eventually he was named twice, sixth man of the year.

Kevin McHale led the seasons, 1987 and 1988 in field goal percentage (60.4). Because of his long arms, McHale was a tough defensive force to tackle, as well as on the other side of the court.

Defensively, he was three times in the NBA All-Defensive First Team and three times in the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

Such a control in the pivot was rarely seen by other guys and a lot of times defenders would just raise their hands in hope he’s gonna miss. That was Kevin’s favorite. There was always a smile on his face.

Maybe he was thinking that happy go lucky. You could saw him talking to everyone so much. Talking to opponents, talking to everyone. He used to say that once you get to know these people you say to yourself, God, I can’t really hate those guys, but I like to:)

There are so many interesting things to mention about his accomplishments. Twice he blocked 9 shots in a single basketball game. Opponents, as they say had to be very aware when taking a shot, that he could, extend his long arms and reject them. In the season 1986-1987, he was named to the All-NBA First Team as a forward. One night, when playing against Detroit Pistons, he scored 56 points.

Danny Ainge used to call Kevin the black hole. Because once it goes in, it never comes out.

“When I was healthy, I always felt I could score,” McHale once told reporters. “When it went into what I called ‘The torture chamber,’ I knew it was in.”

Here are 2 other quotes from him…

“This isn’t fantasy basketball, statistics mean nothing; you’ve got to win.”

“If I could look into the future, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you doorknobs. I’d be out investing in the stock market.”


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