"Loyalty is something that hurts you at times, because you can't get youth back,'' Garnett said last month about wishing he had pushed earlier to be dealt from a mediocre Minnesota team. "I can honestly say that if I could go back and do my situation over, knowing what I know now with this organization, I'd have done it a little sooner."
Kevin Garnett and Kevin McHale, 2005 McHale heard Garnett make those comments. He said the huge contract extension Garnett signed in 1997, which played a key role in there being a lockout in 1988-99 and the NBA eventually instituting maximum salaries, hampered Minnesota's ability to improve.
"That's always a tough thing,'' said McHale, who starred with the Celtics from 1980-93 and admits he's rooting for them in the Finals but that it doesn't affect his on-air objectivity. "He signed that huge contract, and that huge contract was somewhat prohibiting the team from going out and finding other people (due to Garnett eating up so much of the salary cap). So it was a two-way street. He did the right thing. The money was offered. He took it. It was right before the new collective bargaining agreement."
After Reggie Miller stopped by to speak to the team last fall, legendary big man Kevin McHale spoke at the team dinner Monday night and was at practice this morning.
He's going to stick around all week to lend his expertise.
McHale, who somehow was let go by the Minnesota Timberwolves despite being a native son and doing a solid job building that team (and coaching it, too, at times). For now, he's just wanting to impart as much as he can to the Mavericks.
The Timberwolves' new head of basketball operations had his scheduled dinner meeting with Kevin McHale on Tuesday night, but the coach's future with the team remains uncertain.
David Kahn, who was hired Friday, confirmed the meeting but otherwise had no comment.
With Kahn scheduled to leave this morning for a three-day NBA draft combine in Chicago, a decision on McHale likely will have to wait until at least next week.
Taylor repeatedly had said McHale himself would decide whether he returns, ever since Taylor sent his personnel decision-maker from the front office to the coach's bench in early December.
He reversed course last week, telling the Star Tribune the new boss won't be obligated to retain McHale.
Owner Glen Taylor, interviewed at halftime of Minnesota's 110-87 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night at Target Center, said he still expects Kevin McHale to return as coach next season but that McHale hasn't told him he would.
Taylor also said the team will have a general manager-type to head up basketball operations, ending the committee-style approach it has used in recent seasons.
"We're going to have one person that will be at the top," Taylor said. "We've interviewed quite a few people."
Asked if that person will come from inside or outside the organization, Taylor said: "We're interviewing inside and outside. I'd say we're pretty much done with it."
Commissioner David Stern scolded Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and coach Kevin McHale for comments they made last week about the troubled economy and the league's future labor agreement with its players.
Taylor and McHale both candidly answered reporters' questions Tuesday about possible changes coming when the league's collective bargaining agreement with its players expires in 2011.
Stern quickly sent word to both, telling them to shut up about such matters.
"I have already been talked to by the league," McHale said. "I can say nothing. I think nothing. Nothing, nothing. I don't even think anymore. I've shut that off completely. I think that was the last cognizant thought I had: I was thinking about thinking about nothing."
It's time for Glen Taylor to clean house. This time, he should use a demolition unit instead of a feather duster.
Taylor, the Wolves' owner, has relied on cronies since he bought the team. In the wake of his team's heartless, hapless loss to a bad Golden State team missing its best player Tuesday, Taylor should be contemplating nuclear options.
If he's not going to have the good taste to fire himself, he's going to have to fire pretty much everyone else.
Miller hasn't started since suffering a second sprained ankle in that first meeting with the Rockets, but McHale said the Wolves aren't actively shopping him.
"As I always say, if they offer Kobe (Bryant), we'll definitely consider that," McHale said. "But are we looking to trade him? No."
Miller's name has come up in trade rumors involving the New Jersey Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers, but McHale indicated that the chances of any deal are highly unlikely.
"You never say never, but we're not looking to trade Mike Miller," McHale said. "We couldn't be happier with Mike. ... If calls come in, of course you listen to them. Everybody calls each other, but I tell you what, I'd be beyond shocked if we traded him."
Two months ago, Kevin McHale was the Wolves VP of basketball operations and he had a public approval rating somewhere south of Dubya’s.
L.A. Clipper Eric Gordon, btw, edged out Kevin Love for the Western Rookie of the Month.