3.02.2016

Carlisle: McHale is the Van Cliburn of Bigs



To see Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin McHale talking together is like looking at a history of power forwards in the NBA. Yes, according to the definition, they play — played, in McHale’s case — the same position. But did two people ever go about the same job so differently?

McHale was maybe the greatest low-post scorer in the game during the 1980s when he and Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics were winning three titles. Nowitzki? Well, he’s one of the power forwards who have taken the position farther from the basket.And yet, Nowitzki has the ability to do some of the same things McHale accomplished in his Hall of Fame career, says McHale. He’s been visiting the first week of Dallas Mavericks training camp, stressing a strong attitude. But that doesn’t mean the fundamentals of low-post play haven’t been taught, too."

As Rick Carlisle said: "McHale’s an excellent teacher. Hey, if I wanted my 6 1/2 -year-old daughter to have piano lessons, I’d go to Fort Worth and knock on Van Cliburn’s door if I could get him. This is kind of the same thing."


3 comments:

Lex said...

Not long after Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle woke up Wednesday morning, he discovered that the Houston Rockets had fired coach Kevin McHale.

“It’s preposterous,” Carlisle said. “It’s beyond belief. I’m really shocked. It’s just hard to believe that something like that could happen at this stage.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, center, looks to pass as he is double teamed by Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, left, and forward Jae Crowder, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) grabs a pass during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics forward Amir Johnson (90) yells as he hangs on the rim after a dunk against Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks center Zaza Pachulia (27) slams into Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger, left, on a drive to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, left, drives past Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, left, yells at an official during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. At center is Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) drives to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) dribbles during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban jokes with Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) drives to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger (7) drives to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, center, looks to pass as he is double teamed by Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, left, and forward Jae Crowder, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) grabs a pass during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.
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Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) grabs a pass during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Charles Krupa AP

“The guy took the team unexpectedly to the conference finals last year, and to have this happen after 11 games, preposterous is the only word that I can come up with.”

Lex said...

Mavs forward Chandler Parsons played his first three NBA seasons with the Rockets under McHale, and he believes more people should be held accountable.

“He’s an unbelievable guy and one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever played for, and definitely one that’s positive,” Parsons said. “He’s one of the best human beings I’ve ever met, so I feel terrible for him.

“Six months ago, they’re in the conference finals, and a year ago he signed an extension. I’m not really sure why [McHale got fired], but obviously they’re struggling a little bit. But it’s hard to think all of that is his fault.”

Lex said...

Carlisle and McHale are longtime friends, winning an NBA title together as players in 1986 with the Celtics. So when Carlisle had to think about one of his close friends losing his job, it cut really deep.

“I don’t expect it; nobody expects this,” Carlisle said. “It’s very disappointing to hear, but Kevin will be fine. He’s got a lot of time to rest and relax, and there will be a lot of people wanting to hire him — I can tell you that.”

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