Skip to main content

Kevin McHale explains what happened when the Celtics walked off the court vs Pistons

mchale copy (1)

Even though over 30 years have passed since the infamous incident in which the Detroit Pistons walked off the court in game 4 of the 1991 ECF against the Bulls, there is still some resentment towards them because of that decision. That has fueled a long-time animosity between Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan that apparently lasts still to this day, and their rivalry on the court diminished any normal relationship they could've had off the court.

In one of the interviews, when asked about that situation, Thomas said that he is surprised by the negative criticism he and the rest of the Pistons teammates received. He argued that was a somewhat normal practice back in the day, especially if you are competing against a fierce rival team. Isiah talked about the 1988 ECF when the Pistons beat the Celtics, and the Celtics players walked off the court without shaking their hands. Apparently, they never received the same type of hate from the media and the fans despite doing the same thing.

Kevin McHale, who was the starting power forward for the Celtics, recently talked about that game and why they never shake the Pistons' hands as they were walking off the court. He argues that they were told by someone to walk off the court earlier because it was a long way to the locker room, and fans started storming the court to celebrate the Pistons win.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"Someone told us to get out of there before they stormed the court. You had a really long walk to get out of there. It wasn't like the Garden or other places. You had a hundred yards probably before you got to the entry way to the locker rooms."

Kevin McHale, via Boston Harold

McHale and Thomas have a long history that dates way back to the beginning of their HOF careers. Unlike other Celtics players, McHale actually shared a few words with Thomas at the end of that game, giving him advice on what it's going to be like when they make it to the finals.

I knew Isiah from the Pan-Am Games, and Zeke and I have always been friends- He said something to me, and I said, 'Hey, man, look, it feels just as bad to lose in The Finals as it does to lose in the Eastern Conference finals.' I said, 'This (expletive) 's not over with. You guys got another series to play, so don't celebrate too much.' I said that then I walked off. That was just my advice to him as a friend.

Kevin McHale, via Boston Harold

Even though we see double standards in all aspects of life, the NBA is no different. The Pistons and predominantly Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer are the ones who received major backlash from the fans for their decision not properly to congratulate the Bulls on their win. The majority of fans don't even know about the Celtics and their early exit from the court without properly congratulating the Pistons. However, that move never received a similar type of judgment from others.


Glen Rice lauds a Filipino basketball legend: 'He’s up there...You talk about the Larry Birds, Glen Rices, Steph Currys'

Filipino basketball legend Allan Caidic nailed 14 three-pointers in a friendly game with Glen Rice in 2010. A decade later, "G Money" was still in awe of what he had witnessed from his fellow marksman


"I took it to another level!"-Shaquille O'Neal thinks he was better than Wilt and Kareem

Shaq took inspiration from the great big men and passed them over, in his opinion.

Looming NBA free agency market gave Kyrie Irving a reality check

Kyrie Irving had a reality check with the market

This all relates to the fundamental Kyrie Irving problem; he is unreliable, he doesn't seem fun to play with, and he has a history of bailing on teams. This was simply a reality check for the man operating outside reality.

Draymond Green calls out Skip Bayless in the latest "new media" rant

“People don’t wanna hear that old, dried up, tired stuff that you talking about” -- Draymond Green rips Skip Bayless

The idea of Draymond Green's "new media" movement is to lessen the power of the Steven A. Smiths and Skip Baylesses of the world

Draymond Green admits GSW wouldn’t have won in titles without Kevin Durant

Draymond Green admits GSW wouldn’t have won titles without Kevin Durant: "We would not have beat the Cavs without Kevin”

Draymond Green admits the Golden State Warriors needed Kevin Durant to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 and 2018.

LeBron James inspired Dwight Howard to get better: "That’s what I gotta get to if I want to be the best player in the nation"

Dwight Howard explains how LeBron James inspired him to be a better player after playing against each other in high school

Dwight Howard didn't know who LeBron James was until they faced each other in a game in high school. After the game, Howard got inspired to get to LeBron's level.

John Wall is finally free from Houston's prison

John Wall is finally free from Houston's prison

John Wall finally recovered from his injury and the Los Angeles Clippers are hoping he can help them win their first NBA championship


Kendrick Perkins reveals LeBron, Kobe and Carmelo broke up the OKC Thunder during the 2012 Olympics

The veterans took advantage of the opportunity and eliminated their biggest competition for years to come by getting into Harden's head.