Kevin McHale is one of the all-time greats to wear Boston green.
A revered power-forward, McHale was a key part of the success of the Celtics in the 1980s along with Larry Bird. “The Black Hole” was a perennial All-Star and All-Defensive talent during his time with the Cs.
His sacrifices for the greater good of the team were also rewarded with multiple 6th Man of the Year titles. McHale was a wonderful professional and had his jersey #32 retired at the TD Garden.
His loyalty to the Celtics is unquestioned. One might however question whether it affects his judgment as McHale was asked about who he would pick to lead a team to a win.
Who did McHale pick to lead any team to a win in the NBA?
McHale’s answer was very straightforward. “The Black Hole” selected the greatest Celtic of all-time, Bill Russell as his pick to lead any given team to a win in the NBA.
McHale gives his flowers to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as well. However, he talks about how a will to win is as key to winning as skill.
McHale describes how the Celtics of the past talked about Russell. Russell’s spirit to drive his teams to wins as the leader and the accounts of his teammates convinced McHale of his choice.
Bill Russell was an absolutely legendary leader. With sheer determination, Russell stood above giants of his time to collect a mammoth 11 championships. This has often propelled him up the GOAT talk and from the clip above, McHale seems to back it.
Russell is often referred to as the greatest defender of all time. He averaged 15 points and 22 rebounds in a legendary career with the Celtics.
With his record and his success as a team player, it is tough to dispute McHale’s claim. A good basketball player elevates his teammates. And Bill Russell was exactly that. Therefore, as McHale said: To win a game, you wanted #6 on your side.