Former Celtics legend Kevin McHale is grieving over the loss of his daughter, Sasha, who passed away from complications from Lupus on Saturday. About 40 members of the team including players, coaches and staff flew to Minneapolis immediately after Tuesday’s game against the Raptors to attend Sasha's funeral and to show support for their coach. I haven't heard of any show of support from the Celtics organization, but I'm sure there was one, along with support from former Celtics' teammates.
The Rockets also had a moment of silence to honor Sasha before the pregame introductions for Tuesday’s game, with a photo of Sasha McHale on the video boards at the arena. Rockets players wore a green band on a purple background on their uniform shoulders. The organization chose green because it was Sasha McHale’s favorite color and purple to signify the Lupus Foundation.
“Her high school jersey number was No. 32. So green and 32, with the McHale family, that can only mean one thing,” Rockets acting head coach Kelvin Sampson said, alluding to the fact that her father also wore that number during his playing career with the Boston Celtics. “Celtic pride is in there somewhere. That’s also another indication she’s daddy’s girl. She adored her father. Her father adored her. That’s why this is so tough.”
The Rockets will fly from the funeral to Oklahoma City for their game against the Thunder tonight. They had to get special permission from the league to fly to Minnesota instead of going directly to OKC as teams are normally required to travel no later than the night before each game to arrive in the city of their next game.
As a parent, I can't imagine the grief and heartache that Kevin and Lynn McHale are going through. My thoughts and prayers have been with the family since the news came out on Saturday. The love and respect of the NBA community are with the McHale family through this tough time. (hat tip Houston Chronicle)