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Kevin Garnett and Kevin McHale share an emotional embrace after Rockets beat Celtics (VIDEO)

Dec 15, 2012, 8:00 AM EDT

The show of support and respect from around the league for Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who has returned to the team following an extended leave of absence after the passing of his daughter, has truly been amazing to see.

It shows that the brotherhood of those involved with the game runs much deeper than basketball, and while the tribute the Mavericks paid McHale in his first game back on the bench last week was certainly emotional, it was nothing compared to the scene that played out between him and Kevin Garnett after the Rockets took down the Celtics on Friday.

Garnett was drafted by the Timberwolves in 1995, a decision that was made by McHale as VP of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota franchise at the time. McHale was also the one who traded Garnett to the Celtics, and after 12 seasons together there, the bond between the two men that was formed remains strong to this day.

After Friday night’s contest, Garnett walked over and embraced McHale, and had words for his former GM that clearly resonated. As seen in the video clip above, the embrace lasted several seconds, and McHale appeared to reach the point of tears near the end of the interaction.

Just a really powerful moment to witness, and one that may or may not shed some light on Garnett the person being a lot more sensitive and reasonable than the one we’ve seen screaming expletives at his opponents on a nightly basis throughout his 18 NBA seasons.

The moment came as a result of the most awful of circumstances, but the fact that there are strong relationships that can provide a foundation for dealing with the tragedies of this world is reassuring to even the most cynical.

Sports act as a distraction from the struggles of our daily existence. Yet sometimes, a rare set of circumstances can create a snapshot in time that transcends the games we use to get away. The embrace between Garnett and McHale most certainly qualifies.

  1. timmons94 - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    Had tears in my eyes. That was awesome move by kg.

  2. nokoolaidcowboy - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Awesome, KG shows us all how to put things into perspective.

  3. beantown85 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Super classy moment from a class act player. People who get their sensitive feelings hurt about his cursing and trash talk will have a tough time coming to terms with this one.

  4. cameltoehoe - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    KG’s still an A*hole

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      Says the expert.

    • denverhoopdreams - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Takes one to know one? I honestly think you might be mistaking KG’s ferocity when playing the game of Basketball with how a grown ass man reacts in some real life situations. As much as Basketball might be our life hobby, it doesn’t supersede any real life events. Get over yourself cameltoolbaghoe.

  5. magicbucs - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    KG is an a** hole to those not close to him. When you spend 13 years with someone and in this case the guy who drafted him and believed in him of course you’re going to show love and support. Basketball is a game. Death is a part life much bigger than basketball. Kudos to KG

  6. eventhorizon04 - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Brian Scalabrine described KG as “the ultimate teammate.”

    He said that contrary to KG’s on-court persona, KG would do anything for teammates, whether it’s staying after practice to give pointers to younger guys fighting for a roster spot to helping out former teammates who are dealing with money problems after leaving the NBA.

    If you’re on “his team,” he’s a great guy, witness what he did for McHale (who drafted KG and thus is always on KG’s team).
    If you’re not on “his team,” you’re either the enemy (how he treats most opponents) or non-existent (Ray Allen).

    Not a Celtics/Timberwolves fan, so he’s never been on a team I’ve rooted for, but I can respect that…though I’m still going to complain about his “hard” (illegal) screens.

    • badintent - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      Great Post !

      • eventhorizon04 - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM


  7. danielcp0303 - Dec 15, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Awww man, all this dust from my computer screen, keep having to wipe my eyes

  8. allen227 - Dec 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Say what you want about Garnett but I think that was a Classy move. He’s a helluva competitor but he proved he has a genuine side as well.

  9. louhudson23 - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    It means little in light of Kevin McHale’s tragic loss as well as the horrible event in CT,but as I watch him walk off the court,I feel compelled to raise the point that Kevin McHale was one hell of a basketball player,virtually unstoppable in his healthy prime as well as a tremendous defender in the paint.and I cannot think of one single player currently in the league that I would take ahead of him on my team.I know the character and courage he showed as a player are tested daily as he and his family cope with their loss. That same type of strength and courage will be needed for the families of those slain to cope with the coming days. May they find it and I can only hope they know and understand how heavily we grieve with them.

  10. thezeynmaster - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    What I unlike is that fans are mostly at the ends of things. So partisan.
    When they criticize, they do it hardly and harshly; when they praise, likewise they lose control.
    Like extreme KG comments on this thread, Lebron is also a good example of this.
    He was the loser of all time until last year, and the guy is now compared to Michael.

  11. discostu1233 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Wow.. Strong moment

  12. 1historian - Dec 16, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    A strong moment indeed. I remember McHale from the Celts’ glory days and cannot even imagine what he must be enduring.

    But what annoys me is the fact that after the moment the camera lingered on McHale.

    Show some respect for another’s grief.

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