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KFWB: What the new Basketball Hall of Famer can’t do is compete with the late Celtics patriarch’s supernatural skills.
“We lost out on the Kevin Garnett sweepstakes,” Jackson lamented Friday after a ceremony to receive his Hall of Fame blazer. “Red Auerbach came out of the grave and told Kevin (McHale) to give him to the Celtics.”
Auerbach was credited with many things during his own Hall of Fame career as a coach and executive who had a hand in all of Boston’s record 16 NBA championships. Visiting teams accused the Celtics of foul play, like turning off the hot water in the locker room showers or memorizing the dead spots in the famous Boston Garden parquet floor.
But to Auerbach, who died on the eve of last season, the Celtics mystique was merely a tradition of excellence that players bought into when they arrived in Boston and carried with them if they made other NBA stops. Jackson joked that it may have helped the Celtics land Garnett in an unprecedented 7-for-1 trade this summer.
McHale, who won three titles with the Celtics in the 1980s, is now the basketball boss of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He worked out the deal with former teammate Danny Ainge, who’s running the Celtics.
Jackson, who denied a report that he was considering retirement, said he was hoping to add Garnett to the Lakers, in part to assuage the concerns of star Kobe Bryant that the team wasn’t a championship contender.