Kevin McHale, former Celtics great and now coach of the Rockets, just lost his 23-year-old daughter Sasha to complications from lupus, and he’s been away from basketball for much of the year to spend time with his family. McHale and Celtics forward Kevin Garnett go way back: as Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, McHale drafted a teenaged Garnett right of high school back in 1995, going on to coach and mentor the young star. When Garnett came to the Celtics, he became one of that franchise’s all-time great forwards — and in a way, McHale’s direct heir in the long tradition of champion Celtics big men. Friday night, after the game between their current teams ended, Garnett made a beeline for McHale, and the two men shared a long, tearful hug.
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