McHale Prevented Garnett from Going to the Lakers
Phil Jackson: Dr. [Jerry] Buss came to me and said, "I have a handshake agreement with Taylor, that he's going to come to L.A. But McHale hasn't concurred yet." So I said, "Well that's a good excuse." You always, as an owner, say, "I'll do this, but …" So I kept that hope out there, that he was gonna be a part of the Laker organization.
While I've told this story several times on this blog, no one in the mainstream media ever seems to get it straight. But this article is getting closer. Note, in what should be bold, italicized print:
"We have a deal. But Kevin McHale isn't on board yet."
Nor would he ever be.
Now insert this paragraph.
Danny Ainge, Celtics GM: Because Kevin and I were such close friends, we had numerous conversations over the years [about Garnett]. We realized that Paul [Pierce] and KG would be a great combination. We thought that they really complemented each other well. So we discussed the possibility of Paul going to Minnesota or KG coming to Boston, like which way is the best way to do it.
I don't care if the Lakers had offered Chamberlain, Jabbar, and Shaq in their primes. There is simply no way Kevin McHale was going to send Garnett to the Lakers and pair him up with Kobe. Not when the championship score was 16-14 (at the time), and the Lakers just one piece away from more titles. Not with the rest of the Celtics 1986 championship team looking over McHale's shoulder. Not with the city of Boston occupying his psyche and every fiber of his being.
And now we know there were only ever two choices.
Garnett would end up in Boston.
Pierce would end up in Minnesota.
Thank you, Kevin McHale.
Phil Jackson: "I've always kind of hinted that, in fun."
I'm not sure getting your ass humiliated in the 2008 Finals is what most people would consider fun.
But whatever floats your boat, Herr Zen Mistress.
Oh, and if you need further proof of McHale's unwillingness to make any move that improves the Lakers' chances for another title, read this post.
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