Kevin McHale breaks down in tears in Kevin Garnett's arms [VIDEO]
McHale says he'll always have a special place in his heart for KG, and it shows.
On Friday night, Kevin McHale and Kevin Garnett shared one of the most touching moments in NBA history.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock during the Houston's win over visiting Boston, Garnett walked toward McHale. KG had his head down, as if he was pondering what he was about to say. The two embraced while KG spoke into McHale's ear and patted him on the back, then McHale broke down in tears, burying his face in Garnett's shoulder.
Here's the footage:
The relationship between Garnett and McHale goes all the way back to 1995, when McHale -- then the Timberwolves front office boss -- boldly drafted an 18-year-old KG straight out of high school. Twelve years later, McHale oversaw the trade that sent Garnett to Boston, but the two obviously still have a lot of affection for each other.
Emotions were running high on Friday night for a couple reasons. McHale recently returned to coaching after an extended leave during which he suffered through the illness and death of his 23-year-old daughter, Sasha, and both men said they were also shaken by the unspeakable school shooting that happened earlier that day in Connecticut.
"Oh you know, KG and I, we go way back," McHale said, his voice trailing off as he spoke and then cracking as he told how Sasha got her name and of the Celtics massage therapist Vladimir Shulman who helped name her. "He's a good guy. There will always be a special place in my heart for Kevin. We spent a ton of time together when he was a young guy. It was very nice.
"It was a long day for me today. Sasha's name is actually Alexandra. The guy who told me, he is from Russia. He works for the Celtics. He said, 'If you love her, it's got to be Sasha.' He came up today and I talked to him, so it was a long day today for me."
And via the Boston Globe, here's what Garnett had to say:
I just want to say my condolences go out to all the families in Connecticut. Anybody that has kids, a niece, any kind of siblings, someone that they love, it's just been a tough day. I just wanted to get it off my chest and say my condolences go out to all the parents out there. I seen Kevin and kind of had an emotional moment with him, so it's been an emotional roller coaster today.
The context of the McHale-KG embrace was perhaps best captured by NBA.com writer and longtime Timberwolves journalist Steve Aschburner:
That KG-McHale moment spans nearly 18 years, all sorts of toil, sweat and tears for those two, right up to today's unfathomable context.
-- Steve Aschburner (@AschNBA) December 15, 2012
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