One play does not define a career, nor does it make someone dirty. But Kevin McHale might be known for the single dirtiest play in NBA history, the clothesline heard ‘round the world. You can watch the video, but you’ve seen this replay a couple hundred times in your lifetime if not more.
The Lakers and Celtics are the longest, most hated rivals in the NBA, and this was the rivalry at its peak as Kurt Rambis drove into the lane and Kevin McHale made darn sure he couldn’t get to the rim. The benches cleared and a moment had been born. In today’s NBA, McHale might have been suspended half a season. In the 80s? Just a good hard common foul. Play on.