Kevin McHale: A Celtics Legend
Kevin McHale was born in 1957 in Hibbing, Minnesota. At Hibbing High School, he earned four-time all-state selection and led the team to two state titles. As a senior, McHale won Minnesota Mr. Basketball 1976 and led his team to the state championship game.
From 1976-1980 at the University of Minnesota, McHale averaged 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He was a two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection and led the Golden Gophers to two NCAA Tournaments. McHale finished his college career with 1,828 points and 1,217 rebounds. He also won gold at the 1979 Pan American Games.
The Boston Celtics selected McHale 3rd overall in the 1980 NBA draft. He quickly became a key player, averaging 13.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a rookie and making the All-Rookie First Team.
McHale was part of the 1981 championship team and continued improving, making his first All-Star appearance in his second season. He helped the Celtics reach the 1984 Finals and won consecutive Sixth Man of the Year awards in the 1980s.
Paired with Larry Bird and Robert Parish, McHale formed the legendary “Big Three” era Celtics. They led Boston to five Finals and three titles in the 1980s.
In 1986, McHale made the All-NBA First Team after averaging 21.3 points and 10.4 rebounds. He also won Finals MVP for his role in Boston’s 1986 championship over Houston.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, McHale remained a key Celtic, making seven All-Star teams and six All-NBA teams. He helped Boston win two more titles in 1987 and 1988 before retiring in 1993.
BOSTON, MA – JUNE 8: Boston Celtics’ Kevin McHale, right, and Cedric Maxwell high-five during Game Five of the 1984 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Boston Garden on June 8, 1984. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
McHale continued to be a key player for the Celtics throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. He was named to the NBA All-Star Game seven times and the NBA All-NBA Team six times. McHale also helped the Celtics win two more NBA championships in 1987 and 1988.
McHale retired from the NBA in 1993 after 13 seasons. He finished his career with 17,707 points and 9,297 rebounds. McHale was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
McHale retired with over 17,000 points and 9,000 rebounds and entered the Hall of Fame in 1999. He is considered one of the NBA’s greatest power forwards, known for his scoring, rebounding, defense, and championship success with the Celtics.