Thursday, January 29, 2009

A star basketball surgeon who can diagnose and fix basketball illnesses

Last month, Jim Souhan, a columnist for the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis, described Kevin McHale as "great NBA player who considers coaching a hobby that impinges on his lifestyle."

In December, SI's Chris Mannix wrote that "McHale hates travel. He doesn't like late nights or the beating it puts on his body."

Coach McHale, who moved from VP of basketball ops to the bench in early December, has said he's resisted coaching because, "I don't enjoy the wins, and the losses just kill me. I don't know why I should [coach] , unless you go 82-0."

But Jim Petersen, who like McHale played at the University of Minnesota and had an eight-year NBA career, contends that Coach McHale is built for coaching.

"McHale's humor and intelligence are best suited for coaching. I equate it to being a physician. Some are great at research or diagnosing disease. Some are great at lecturing, teaching, surgery. The key to being a great GM is similar to being great at research. You have to be a grinder, a basketball junkie willing to travel, talk and dig. That is not (McHale's) strength.

He is a star basketball surgeon who can diagnose and fix basketball illness. He adjusts, supports, encourages and motivates during games," Petersen said. "He builds, demands, fixes and develops during practice. He has his priorities straight. He commands respect and encourages calmness during tight in-game situations."