Here in this heightened stage of alert where the welfare and health of children have never been greater, you can tell how swollen the issue is by the size of the lump in Kevin McHale’s throat.
It’s been a month since his dear daughter Sasha left too early, ripping apart his world in the process, and now here comes the horror of Connecticut to connect him to those grieving families in a roundabout way, one tragedy followed by another, a left-right sucker punch to the heart.
A Hall of Fame player equally famous for having a personality to match is missing a segment of his soul. That is evident anytime someone asks about the death of children, a topic no one can avoid nowadays, and McHale’s eyes immediate find the floor while he respectfully whispers, as he did Monday: “Let’s talk about basketball.”
So you can understand why the most touching image of the NBA in 2012 won’t be LeBron James finally clutching his precious championship trophy, or Jeremy Lin being smothered by the bosom of New York. Did you see how McHale squeezed Kevin Garnett the other day and simply would not … let … go?