Kevin McHale has been an NBA color commentator for 20 years now, and he’s often credited with being the first to discuss the importance of a team’s “culture.” In this article he discusses what life was like when they were winning it all in Boston.
The “kevin mchale wingspan” is a post by Kevin McHale, the current head coach of the Boston Celtics. In his article, he talks about how the success of the 1980s Boston Celtics was due to their team chemistry and not individual talent.
The skill was undeniable. The Boston Celtics boasted probably the finest NBA frontcourt ever, with Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale. Those 1980s Celtics teams advanced to the NBA Finals five times throughout the decade, winning three titles.
The Celtics had four future Hall of Famers in their lineup at one time during the decade: Bird, Parish, McHale, and Dennis Johnson. Although the squad was loaded, McHale has said that skill was not the most important factor in Boston’s success.
Kevin McHale has won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics.
During an NBA game at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts in 1984, Truck Robinson of the New York Knicks shoots over Kevin McHale of the Boston Celtics. | Getty Images/Focus on Sport
McHale started his NBA career as a backup to Cedric Maxwell with the Celtics. In the 1980 NBA Draft, the Celtics picked McHale with the third overall choice. McHale contributed off the bench with 10.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 20.1 minutes as a rookie, despite not being a starter.
In his first season, he won the first of his three championships alongside Bird and Parish, who were acquired in a deal with the Golden State Warriors. Bird was named Rookie of the Year the previous season after leading the Celtics to one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history. The Celtics went 29-53 the year before Bird arrived in Boston. The Celtics won 61 games in his debut season with the club.
Boston won at least 60 games in six of the following seven seasons. Boston finished 62-20 and defeated the Houston Rockets in six games in the 1981 NBA Finals, with Bird, McHale, and Parish playing together for the first time.
After a two-year hiatus, the Celtics returned to the NBA Finals in 1984. Boston beat the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games despite being outplayed for most of the series. The Lakers got their vengeance a year later, celebrating a Game 6 victory on the floor of Boston Garden.
When the Celtics beat the Rockets again in 1986, they won their third championship of the decade. In 1987, they had one more chance to win the championship, but they were defeated by the Lakers in a difficult series.
Kevin McHale argued that the Boston Celtics’ success was based on more than just skill.
Even in the 1983-84 season, McHale spent the most of his time on the bench. He only appeared in ten regular-season games, although he played an average of 31.4 minutes per game. After averaging 18.4 points and 7.4 rebounds, he earned the NBA’s Sixth Man Award. He shot 55.6 percent from the field and was a key contributor to Boston’s 62-win season and second championship in four years.
While the Celtics had so much skill on that squad that McHale couldn’t even make the starting lineup, the 6-foot-10 forward believes the team’s success was due to much more than talent.
“It’s the ‘we’ before’me,’” McHale told Cedric Maxwell on The Cedric Maxwell Podcast in March. “You’re in the wrong business if you can’t celebrate your colleagues’ success.” You should go play tennis since you will be alone and will be able to shout at the linesmen or do anything you want. You can only get so far if you don’t appreciate your colleagues’ achievements.
“We’re not going to feed you if I don’t like your achievement.” It’s enjoyable to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. I recall slapping Danny (Ainge) on the a** and saying, ‘thatta baby, I knew you had it in you.’
“They made a whole series on us, the Celtics and the Lakers, and all the insane things we went through.” Just thinking about all of the things we were able to do, and the best part is that I was able to do it with you guys.”
In 1986, McHale won his third championship with the Celtics.
3rd time proclaimed champions, 2nd Finals MVP in 3 years
Larry Bird cemented his legacy on this day in 1986 when the Celtics won it all for the 16th time pic.twitter.com/EXEPF4Vrlx
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 8, 2019
Bird once said that he would take on anybody with his 1985-86 Celtics squad. With four Hall of Famers in the starting lineup, it’s difficult to disagree.
Prior to the season, the Celtics traded Maxwell to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Bill Walton’s return. With Maxwell out of the picture, McHale was promoted to the starting lineup, joining Bird, Parish, Johnson, and Ainge. McHale had recently won two Sixth Man Awards in a row, but Walton was a wonderful fit for the part.
Walton played 80 games during Boston’s third championship season, despite missing three full seasons due to foot issues. He played 19.3 minutes per game, averaging 7.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. Walton won the Sixth Man Award after picking up where McHale left off.
Sure, the Celtics had a lot of skill, but it was the small things that helped them win.
RELATED: James Worthy’s Attempt at Retaliation Fueled the 1984 Boston Celtics
Kevin McHale is a former Boston Celtics player. He has an interesting perspective on success in basketball, and it’s not necessarily about talent or skill. Reference: kevin mchale basketball reference.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was Kevin McHale known for?
A: Kevin McHale was a professional basketball player and currently the head coach of the Boston Celtics. He is known for playing both forward positions, being an excellent rebounder, and his unique off-court style that incorporated many different clothes.
Who is the greatest Boston Celtic of all time?
A: That is a difficult question to answer. There are many great Boston Celtics players of all time, but since you asked about the greatest one – it would be Bill Russell.
How did the Celtics get McHale?
A: The Celtics got McHale by trading Jerry Sichting, a veteran small forward who had been with the team for four years. They traded him to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for Kevin McHale.
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