Kevin McHale was one of the best power forwards to play the game. His endless bag of post moves would drive opponents crazy and make Larry Bird’s life much easier. He was so deadly in the post that passing the ball wasn’t really an option. Danny Ainge called him ‘’The Black Hole of the low post’’ joking that when the basketball was passed inside to McHale it disappeared because he rarely passed it back out to the perimeter. We are talking about a man who had Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge and Bill Walton waiting for that pass.
“When I was healthy, I always felt I could score. When it went into what I called ‘The torture chamber,’ I knew it was in.”Kevin McHale
Sadly, McHale was prepared to torture himself as well. In the ’86-’87 season McHale broke his navicular bone (the same one Embiid broke) in his foot. The doctors insisted on surgery and recovery but McHale refused and played the rest of the season. By playing McHale aggravated the injury which shortened his career and left a permanent limp in his walk. Never focusing on his athletics, McHale was a master of his craft.
“I can guarantee you one thing, tall skilled beats small skilled all the time…a small skilled beats a big stiff all the time. … I would’ve loved having a Draymond Green guard me, I don’t care how many threes, what he would do. He couldn’t grow enough to guard me”Kevin McHale
Everyone is talking about the disappearance of the low post game in today’s NBA. It’s threes or layups, and nothing in between. A part of the problem is that players don’t work on their footwork and moves to reach the level of McHale or Olajuwon. If someone had moves like this, they’d get a max contract on the spot.