A Minnesota-born native, Kevin McHale has done many things for the basketball world. He had arguably the greatest post moves seen by any big man. When he got a defender into his "black hole," as he called it, they were as good as toast. McHale played Robin to the great Larry Bird's Batman and helped lead those Boston Celtics teams to three NBA titles. Who can forget his clothesline of Kurt Rambis, a play that changed the outcome of a Finals series?
But for all of those great accolades, he has one big smudge on his basketball resume, president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
McHale only did one good thing with this organization, and that was drafting Kevin Garnett fifth in the 1995 draft. After that, it all went down hill, from drafting Ndudi Ebi, to paying Joe Smith extra money under the table, to the Roy-for-Foye deal. He even traded the best thing that happened to the franchise to the Boston Celtics for Al Jefferson and a bunch of scrubs.
Soon, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor had enough, he decided to act, and act he did. He made McHale fire then-Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Randy Wittman and removed the president of basketball operations title from Mchale and forced him to coach the team that he himself assembled. He started off weak, but once January came along, McHale led the team to a 10-4 record in the month of January, thanks in part to Randy Foye.
But this brief bright spot didn't last long as Minnesota's star player, Al Jefferson, went down with an ACL injury, and Foye was asked to take over the offensive load, something that he could not handle doing. Even though the Wolves struggled from here on out, there were some bright spots, highlighted by the emergence of Kevin Love and Ryan Gomes.
Minnesota finished with a 24-58 record at the end of the regular season, and Minnesota signed a man named David Kahn as its new general manager. Along with him came a new breeze, a breeze for change, a breeze for hope.
All of the fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves put their support into this man to change the culture of the organization and make the Timberwolves a winning franchise. The first order of business was to get rid of the person who had the biggest hand in bring the franchise to such new lows. So on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, he relieved McHale of his head coaching duties.
In the beginning, I was totally against this move; it didn't make sense to me. Why would you fire on of the best big man teachers in the game, especially if you want to get a player in this draft like Hasheem Thabeet? Why would just throw out a 10-4 record in the month of January when everybody was healthy?
But then i started to think about it: "Out with the old, in with the new." Maybe, if we get another good x's and o's coach in here, like Sam Mitchell, we could turn this around. Maybe this isn't such a bad thing.
Minnesota has three first-round draft picks in the this year's NBA Draft, along with two second-round picks. We have a very good core of young players, such as Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, Randy Foye, and Ryan Gomes. We also have some good players coming off the bench, like Corey Brewer, Rodney Carney, Craig Smith, and Sabastian Telfare.
On the other hand, we also have some holes to fill at the point guard and center spots. Luckily for us, this years draft is stocked with point guards and a couple of really good centers.
With the right moves, this team could be on its way to the postseason in a few years, and hopefully we only go up from there.
Hopefully we can make a fresh start.