Kevin McHale - Celtics Legend

Kevin McHale - #32 - Boston Celtics

Center | 6'10" | 225 lbs. | Born: December 19, 1957

  • Three-time NBA champion
  • Played 13 seasons with the Celtics
  • Two-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year
  • No. 32 jersey retired by Celtics
  • Chosen to 50 Greatest Players in NBA History team
  • Seven-time All-Star
  • Three-time NBA All-Defensive First Team

Chosen with the No. 3 overall pick in the 1980 NBA Draft.

Kevin McHale

Kevin McHale - Biography

#32

When Kevin McHale arrived in Boston, he didn’t come alone. Red Auerbach constructed one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history when he acquired the No. 3 overall selection in the 1980 NBA Draft, which turned out to be McHale, along with 7-footer Robert Parish. All Auerbach coughed up were the No. 1 and No. 13 picks in that 1980 NBA Draft, and both turned out to be busts.

And so the legend was written of the day McHale, Parish and Larry Bird came together to create what is considered by many as the best frontline in league history.

Parish and Bird were already mainstays in the league, but it took a few years for McHale to make his mark. Although the Celtics won the NBA championship in his first season with Boston, McHale’s impact was relatively limited. His modest numbers of 10.0 PPG and 4.4 RPG as a rookie didn’t stand out, but they would soon enough.

Over the next six seasons, McHale incrementally bumped his scoring average all the way up to 26.1 PPG in 1986-87, which was the highest-scoring season of his career. His scoring average increased in each of his first seven years in the league. McHale was also a solid rebounder, topping out in 1986-87 with 9.9 RPG and finishing his career with an average of 7.3 RPG.

It’s a custom for Celtics stars to stick around in Boston for a while, and McHale was no exception. He spent his entire 13-year career in the NBA with Boston, winning three NBA championships and making seven All-Star teams. He carved out a niche as a top reserve during his first five seasons and won two Sixth Man of the Year awards in the process.

McHale’s production tapered off in his final two seasons as he dealt with lingering leg and back issues. Those ailments forced him to retire after 13 seasons, cutting his career off far earlier than it would have ended had he been healthy.

Still, though, despite his accelerated exit from the league, McHale built up a resume that not many can match. His accomplishments led to his selection to the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list, which was chosen by the league to celebrate its 50th season. The Celtics raised his number to the rafters on January 30, 1994, and he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame with the class of 1999. He is still regarded as one of the most creative and successful post players ever.

McHale’s playing days were cut short, but he continued his involvement with the NBA. He was hired as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ assistant general manager in 1994 and ascended to the role of Vice President of Basketball Operations in 1995. He soon built a consistent contender in Minnesota thanks to the hiring of Flip Saunders and the drafting of Kevin Garnett.

As Celtics fans now know, McHale would eventually dish out one more assist for the Celtics when he played a lead role in the blockbuster trade that sent Garnett to Boston in the summer of 2007. Thanks to that trade, which involved five players and other pieces moving to Minnesota, the Celtics were able to return to glory with their 17th championship in 2008.

McHale continued to serve a lead role in Minnesota’s basketball operations department, mostly as VP of Basketball Operations but also with stints as head coach, until the 2008-09 season came to a close. After serving up analysis for TNT and NBA TV for two seasons, McHale was hired as the head coach of the Houston Rockets on June 1, 2011.

KEVIN MCHALE

Height: 6'10" Weight: 225 LBS Birth: 12/19/57 College: MINNESOTA '80
First round draft choice (the 3rd pick overall) in 1980... retired in 1993.

Regular Season Record
Year G MIN FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT OFF DEF TOT AST PF-DQ ST BL PTS AVG
80-81 82 1645 355 666 .533 108 159 .679 155 204 359 55 260-3 27 151 818 10.0
81-82 82 2332 465 875 .531 187 248 .754 191 365 556 91 264-1 30 185 1117 13.6
82-83 82 2345 483 893 .541 193 269 .717 215 338 553 104 241-3 34 192 1159 14.1
83-84 82 2577 587 1055 .556 336 439 .765 208 402 610 104 243-5 23 126 1511 18.4
84-85 79 2653 605 1062 .570 355 467 .760 229 483 712 141 234-3 28 120 1565 19.8
85-86 68 2397 561 978 .574 326 420 .776 171 380 551 181 192-2 29 134 1448 21.3
86-87 77 3060 790 1307 .604 428 512 .836 247 516 763 198 240-1 38 172 2008 26.1
87-88 64 2390 550 911 .604 346 434 .797 159 377 536 171 179-1 27 92 1446 22.6
88-89 78 2876 661 1211 .546 436 533 .818 223 414 637 172 223-2 26 97 1758 22.5
89-90 82 2722 648 1181 .549 393 440 .893 201 476 677 172 250-3 30 157 1712 20.9
90-91 68 2067 504 912 .553 228 275 .829 145 335 480 126 194-2 25 146 1251 18.4
91-92 56 1398 323 634 .509 134 163 .822 119 211 330 82 112-1 11 59 780 13.9
92-93 71 1656 298 649 .459 164 195 .841 95 263 358 73 126-0 16 59 762 10.7
TOTALS 971 30118 6830 12334 .554 3634 4554 .798 2358 4764 7122 1670 2758-27 344 1690 17335 17.9
Three-Point Field Goals: 1980-81, 0-for-2 (.000); 1982-83, 0-for-1 (.000); 1983-84, 1-for-3 (.333); 1984-85, 0-for-6 (.000); 1986-87, 0-for-4 (.000); 1988- 89, 0-for-4 (.000); 1989-90, 23-for-69 (.333); 1990-91, 15-for-37 (.405); 1991-92, 0-for-13 (.000). 1992-93, 2-for-18 (.111). Totals: 41-for-157 (.261).
Playoff Record
80-81 17 296 61 113 .540 23 36 .639 29 30 59 14 51-1 4 25 145 8.5
81-82 12 344 77 134 .575 40 53 .755 41 44 85 11 44-0 5 27 194 16.2
82-83 7 177 34 62 .548 10 18 .556 15 27 42 5 16-0 3 7 78 11.1
83-84 23 702 123 244 .504 94 121 .777 62 81 143 27 75-1 3 35 340 14.8
84-85 21 837 172 303 .568 121 150 .807 74 134 208 32 73-3 13 46 465 22.1
85-86 18 715 168 290 .579 112 141 .794 51 104 155 48 64-0 8 43 448 24.9
86-87 21 827 174 298 .584 96 126 .762 66 128 194 39 71-2 7 30 444 21.1
87-88 17 716 158 262 .603 115 137 .839 55 81 136 40 65-1 7 30 432 25.4
88-89 3 115 20 41 .448 17 23 .739 7 17 24 9 13-0 1 2 57 19.0
89-90 5 192 42 69 .609 25 29 .862 8 31 39 13 17-0 2 10 110 22.0
90-91 11 376 78 148 .527 66 80 .825 18 54 72 20 42-0 5 14 228 20.7
91-92 10 306 65 126 .516 35 44 .795 21 46 67 13 34-0 5 5 165 16.5
92-93 4 113 32 55 .582 12 14 .857 9 20 29 3 6-0 2 7 76 19.0
TOTALS 169 5716 1204 2145 .561 766 972 .788 456 797 1253 274 571-8 65 281 3182 18.8
Three-Point Field Goals: 1982-83, 0-for-1 (.000); 1983-84, 0-for-3 (.000); 1985-86, 0-for-1 (.000); 1987-88, 1-for-1 (1.000); 1989-90, 1-for-3 (.333); 1990-91, 6-for-11 (.545); 1991-92, 0-for-1 (.000). Totals: 8-for-21 (.381).