What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Let’s just cut through the crap and get right down to the issue at hand. Any NBA team which hires Kevin McHale as its head coach only did so because Dr. Jack Kevorkian wouldn’t return their calls. Short of “Dr. Death,” nobody could possibly ensure basketball mortality more than Kevin “McFail.”
Yeah, I know I’m on record as hating McHale, but that was as a player. My on-the-record hatred of Hibbing, Minnesota’s answer to a low-post Frankenstein is not only clear, it’s recent.
For the longest time, I wanted Kevin McHale dead. And not just dead; I wanted to drink beer out of his hollowed-out skull and piss on what was left of him. But his complete and total failure as an NBA general manager ensured I will never see him as anything other that a talking head. Most Laker fans remember McHale for his clothesline of Kurt Rambis in the 1984 Finals. Had that flagrant foul happened in the NBA of today, he would have been suspended and fined. Instead, this play seemed to help shift some of the series momentum towards Boston, and McHale showed the world yet another Celtics player willing to be a cheap bitch.
There it is…just when I thought it would be safe to watch basketball without McHale’s influence, the Rockets decided to snatch McHale out of the TNT broadcast booth to put the power of action behind his idiocy yet again. Do they not have television in Houston? Did they not see that McHale is largely responsible for 15 years of mediocre-ranging-to-downright-shitty basketball?
Let’s break down the McHale-in-Minnesota debacle. First of all, there is the matter of his 39-55 record as a head coach. A .415 winning percentage doesn’t exactly scream the second coming of Red Auerbach; but it gets even better when you consider in those two quasi-interim stints on the bench, he played a major role in the construction of those teams. To make a long story short, McHale sucks as both coach and general manager. To make a short story long…
Upon his retirement as an NBA player, McHale joined the Minnesota Timberwolves as a television analyst and special assistant. In the summer of 1994, new Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor promoted him to Assistant General Manager. He continued to broadcast Timberwolves games and work as an executive until 1995, when he succeeded Jack McCloskey as Vice President of Basketball Operations, where one of his first moves was to hire former University of Minnesota teammate Flip Saunders as head coach of the Timberwolves.
The next season McHale made the decision to draft high school phenom forward Kevin Garnett with the fifth overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft. Though Garnett developed into one of the NBA’s best players, the Timberwolves advanced past the first round of the Western Conference playoffs only once in Garnett’s twelve seasons with the team.
It was also during McHale’s reign that the Timberwolves were punished by the NBA for making a secret deal with free agent forward Joe Smith to circumvent the league’s salary cap rules. Before the 1998–99 season, Smith agreed in secret to sign three one-year contracts with the Timberwolves for less than his market value. In return, Smith received a promise that the Timberwolves would give him a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract before the 2001–02 season.
In 2000, after word of the secret agreement got out, NBA commissioner David Stern voided Smith’s final one-year contract with the Timberwolves, making Smith a free agent. Stern also took away three of the Timberwolves’ next five first-round draft picks and fined the team $3.5 million. Smith signed with Detroit for one season, but came back to Minnesota before the 2001–2002 season as a free agent.
On February 12, 2005, the Timberwolves fired Saunders and McHale took on head coaching duties for the remainder of the 2004–05 season. He compiled a 19-12 record but had no interest in continuing as head coach. Dwane Casey was hired as the new head coach in the off-season of 2005.
With Minnesota sitting at .500 midway through the 2006–07 season, McHale fired Casey on January 23, 2007. Timberwolves’ assistant coach Randy Wittman was tabbed to take over for Casey. Despite missing the playoffs, on April 19, 2007, the Timberwolves announced that McHale would return for the 2007–08 season, as would Wittman.
Prior to the 2007 NBA Draft McHale reportedly tried to work out a trade with Celtics General Manager and former teammate Danny Ainge that would have sent Kevin Garnett to Boston for a draft pick and players. Garnett’s agent told the Timberwolves and the Celtics that his client had no interest in playing for Boston, and the potential trade was scuttled. In late July 2007, Minnesota and Boston once again tried to consummate a deal for Garnett. Garnett eased his stance on being traded to Boston; on July 31 he was sent to the Celtics for five players and two first-round draft picks. Garnett finished third in the MVP balloting and was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in leading Boston to the NBA Championship over the Lakers.
There’s three things that story doesn’t cover, and they should be of keen interest to Rockets fans.
First, there’s what the Timberwolves actually got for Garnett: Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson (who split town as soon as he could), Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, a 2009 first round draft (wasted on Ricky Rubio) and a return of Minnesota’s conditional first round draft pick previously obtained in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade. Minnesota also received cash considerations in the deal. Other than the cash, that defines “bag of magic beans.”
Then there’s the draft day trade of Ray Allen for Stefon Marbury. “Starbury” proved to be more of a headache than anything else; Ray Allen is headed to the Hall of Fame.
And last but not least…Run down the list of Kevin McHale draft picks…try to not to shudder when you see this level of not understanding talent:
Let that sink in for a moment. While you are doing that, Rockets’ fans, be thankful “McFail” will not be your GM, but weep openly at the fact this nimrod will be determining your on-court talent.
Houston, you have a problem…here’s hoping it doesn’t last 13 years like it did in Minnesota.