Kevin McHale Dragging a Bucks Fan Out of the Stands in ’87 Playoffs Gets Forgotten, but Jerry Sichting Remembers It Well


Kevin McHale was a 6-foot, 165 lb power forward for the Boston Celtics during the 1987 NBA Playoffs. During Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Milwaukee, Kevin and Bucks fan Jerry Sichting got into an altercation that has since been forgotten by time – but not by Jerry.

The “Kevin McHale nba” is a story that has been forgotten by the public eye, but Jerry Sichting remembers it well. The Kevin McHale incident occurred during the 1987 playoffs and was one of the most memorable moments in NBA history. Read more in detail here: kevin mchale nba.

The Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks is bringing back thoughts of good, old-fashioned 1980s basketball. It brings back memories of the clubs’ dramatic Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup in 1987.

During the 1986-87 season, Sportscasting met up with Jerry Sichting and Fred Roberts, two crucial members of the Celtics bench, to hear their perspectives on the playoff series. Both remembered the Celtics almost blowing a seven-game series, but they also remembered Kevin McHale addressing a heckling supporter behind the Celtics bench.

When it occurred, Sichting was on the floor, and Roberts was on the bench when McHale walked over him to enter the bleachers.


Kevin-McHale-Celtics-1024x757 On the Boston Celtics bench during a game at the Boston Garden on March 6, 1987, Kevin McHale, left, and Bill Walton have a chuckle. | Getty Images/Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe

With a foot injury, McHale missed Game 1 of the Bucks’ playoff series. In Boston’s 111-98 triumph, Roberts stepped up with 13 points and five rebounds. In Game 2, Roberts started, but McHale came off the bench and played 26 minutes. He had 12 points as the Celtics won 126-124 to grab a 2-0 series lead against the Bucks.

For Game 3, the Celtics went to Milwaukee, where McHale came off the bench once again. Roberts, on the other hand, only got 14 minutes as a starter. Despite fouling out, McHale played 38 minutes and was the team’s second-leading scorer with 25 points. With a 126-121 win, the Bucks reduced the series deficit in half.

In a dramatic Game 4 that saw Boston defeat Milwaukee 138-137 in a double-overtime thriller, McHale was back in the starting lineup. With 34 points and 11 rebounds in 54 minutes, McHale looked brand fresh.

The Celtics seemed to be a foregone conclusion in Game 5 at the Boston Garden, where the Bucks had labored.

“We were convinced we’d win Game 5,” Sichting said to Sportscasting. “We were excellent at home, but they were an excellent team.” They were taller than we were. We received less from our bench than they did. Still, having Bird, McHale, and (Robert) Parish at home is difficult to beat.”

The Bucks stunned the basketball world by winning 129-124. Parish was injured in Game 5 and was unable to play in Game 6 in Milwaukee, which the Bucks won 121-111. The Celtics won the game in Boston, but it wasn’t easy. Boston came up on top 119-113.

In Game 3, Jerry Sichting got a close view of McHale engaging a heckling Bucks supporter.

Remember how angry Kevin McHale was during the 1987 playoffs and went after a Bucks fan?

Because the heckler was using foul words, McHale grabbed him by the shirt.

Later McHale was fined $3,000 for the scuffle and didn’t miss a game. He had 34 points in Game 4 a day later.

— (@Ballislife) March 12, 2019

It was a great playoff series, but both Sichting and Roberts emphasized Game 3 when asked what stuck out in the 87 series. It wasn’t a highlight play or a game-winner. They both remembered McHale’s altercation with a fan in the stands.

Late in the game, McHale fouled out. He stepped across the bench to confront the supporter instead of going directly to the bench.

Roberts told Sportscasting, “McHale got off the court, climbed over our seats, and walked into the stands.” “I’m not sure what triggered it or what he said, but he simply hopped over us and challenged someone.”

Sichting recalled the event as well.

The fan, Sichting recalled, “I suppose he was a lawyer or something.” “Whatever weird in the press about us using drugs on the bench or something, and he was shouting things.” I believe he just wanted to file a lawsuit.

“McHale grabbed him by the tie and dragged him in front of the bench. I’m right in the midst of it. I can only think how many men would have been suspended if it occurred now. He was taken out by security.”

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