Kevin McHale, Kevin Garnett share emotional postgame embrace (Video)
The Boston Celtics lost to the Houston Rockets 101-89 on Friday night, but that hardly seemed to matter to one of the NBA’s most competitive players. Kevin Garnett and other Celtics personnel approached Rockets coach Kevin McHale following the game to give him their support.
McHale returned to the Rockets just five days ago after nearly a month away from the team. McHale took a leave of absence from work on Nov. 10. Two weeks later, his daughter, Sasha, died at 23 because of complications due to Lupus.
Garnett and McHale embraced after the game and shared a particularly moving moment. The two have a long relationship that spans nearly two decades.
“Oh you know, KG and I, we go way back,” McHale said after the game, per Jonathan Feigen. “He’s a good guy. There will always be a special place in my heart for Kevin. We spent a ton of time together when he was a young guy. It was very nice. It was a long day for me.”
McHale was the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves when the team drafted Garnett, then a high school player, No. 5 overall in the 1995 NBA Draft. Garnett quickly turned into the team’s franchise player, and McHale even coached him for a brief time. After realizing that Minnesota was a long way from competing, McHale generously dealt KG to the Boston Celtics, which instantly became a championship contender. Garnett went on to win his first NBA title in his first season with his new team.
In addition to the personal relationship the two men share, McHale is one of the best Celtics players in team history. He won three NBA championships with the franchise during the ’80s, and he had his jersey retired by the team. McHale is still considered a part of the Boston Celtics family, which is part of the reason why the C’s had such an emotional moment with him after the game.