The phrase The Big Three is commonplace in the modern NBA. If a team doesn’t have a big three, you better believe they are trying to convince you they do. I can’t blame teams for applying this model- for the most part it works really well.
For most people that look at basketball prior to the 2007-2008 season, the phrase The Big Three immediately harkens the Bird-McHale-Parish Celtics to mind, and with good reason- the were really, really, really good at basketball.
The Big Three method of basketball always works until it does not. Depending on who you ask, it is always best to break the band up when you can get the most value to ensure the future of the franchise. Current president of basketball operations Danny Ainge subscribes to this theory and had he been in charge in the 1980’s, probably would have traded away Boston’s championship core as soon as it made basketball sense.
One-third of the original Big Three and now coach of the Houston Rockets, Kevin McHale, opened up on his playing days in Boston and if given the chance, would have left the Celtics at the end his career to compete for championships on a contender.
Spoiler alert: No, he wouldn’t have.
“I was glad to finish my career out as a Celtic,” McHale said Tuesday night before his Rockets blasted the Celtics, 109-85. “I played hard there, loved it there. But that’s really not up to you as a player, I just know that. Back then was a little bit of a different era too where they held on to players. People finished their careers in one spot a lot more.”
McHale, who had a lot to do with the formation of the second Boston Big Three was also candid in discussing the differences between this year’s Celtics and previous versions of the team.
“Well they’re so different,” he said. “They’re so much younger, a lot of young big guys and a team that’s trying to find themselves. They made so many changes and they’re in the process of going from an older group trying to win a championship and trying to hang on to the last vestiges of whatever they could get together with that group, to all of a sudden going really young. So it’s tough. It’s a big change. But they come out and they play very hard and they’ll get after it.”
McHale is no stranger to teams struggling to find their place. In four seasons as a head coach, McHale has only made it to the playoffs once.
While I think everyone can agree it is getting harder to cheer for Dwight Howard super teams, I don’t think anyone would hold a successful post season run against Kevin McHale.
Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor
Source: Jay King; MassLive.com
Photo Source: AP Photo/Eric Gay
Padraic O'Connor 11/20/2013 11:03:00 PM Tweet