How the Very Different Larry Bird and Kevin McHale teamed
to form the Greatest Forward Tandem in League History
By Cort Reynolds
While they were not exactly Felix Unger and Oscar Madison, TV and Broadway’s classic “Odd Couple”, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale combined their very disparate personalities and games to form the greatest forward tandem in NBA history in a superbly efficient and durable pairing from 1980-92.
Larry’s lethal perimeter shooting, precise passing and rugged defensive rebounding meshed perfectly with Kevin’s incredible set of post moves, defensive versatility and offensive glass work.
In their first season as NBA teammates in 1980-81, Bird and McHale accomplished something neither could do in college despite playing on some top teams – they won a championship together.
In 1980-81, second-year man Bird was the league’s MVP runner-up and rookie McHale was a top reserve on the 62-20 Boston team that rallied from 3-1 down to beat Philadelphia in arguably the gr...