Kevin, in his 13-year career with the Boston Celtics, scored 17,355 points and amassed so many honors and other records that a journey to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. is required to appreciate his feats fully. Kevin was elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame by sportswriters on the first ballot in 1999.
He was born De. 19, 1957 in Hibbing,Minn. He and his wife Lynn have two children.
A star since he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1981, Kevin played power forward, averaging 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He teamed with fellow Celtic Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Robert Parish to be branded the greatest frontcourt of all time. They paced the Celtics to NBA Championships in 1981, 1984 and 1986. In 1997, Kevin was voted to the NBA 50th Anniversary Team
A seven-time NBA All-Star, he was the Celtics' fourth-leading scorer and sixth-best rebounder. He helped to revolutionize the concept of "Sixth Man," which is a regular player, a star substitute, who comes off the bench and matches the intensity and skill levels of the starting lineup. Kevin won the Sixth Man Award twice.
At .554 in field goal percentage, he ranks ninth all-time in accuracy. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team seven times. He registered 7,122 rebounds and blocked 1,690 shots.
The 1986-87 season was Kevin's best, as he averaged 26.1 points per game and set career per-game highs of 9.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He captured the first of two consecutive field-goal percentage titles and became the first player ever to shoot better than .600 from the floor, at .604 and over .800 from the free throw line, .836. in the same season.
He played the six-game 1987 Finals series on an injured foot. The pain was so great that he used a patio chair from the hotel pool as a walker, yet played 40 minutes each night. The Celtics lost the series in six games. He was named to the all-star first team. Then he underwent surgery on his right foot during the offseason.
At the peak of his skills, Kevin exhibited a low-post game that featured many moves not previously seen. His grab bag of drop steps, head fakes, pump fakes, baby jump hooks, shovel shots and fadeaways confounded defenders. He had no preferred spot. He could set up on either the right or left box, take the turnaround from either the baseline or the middle. He had extraordinary range.
According to former coach Hubie Brown, he was the hardest low-post player "to defend" in National Basketball Association history.
Kevin loved his career. His NBA biography describes "a nice guy from a small town in Minnesota whose boyish charm won him two guest appearances on the television show Cheers." He said. "Playing professional basketball was great, the greatest job in the world. We played the game, I thought, the way it should have been played."
Hockey was a first love. Then in the 1970's while at Hibbing, MN high school, Kevin sprouted to 6:11. His father stood only 5:10 and his mother 5:6. Kevin the center led Hibbing's runner-up finalists in the state AA championship playoffs. He was named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball of 1976.
"I could have gotten into a rut, scored 30 points a game with my back to the basket," he told Sports Illustrated, "but coach Gary Addington forced me to learn the whole game." The effort brought him college scholarship offers.
At Minnesota University (1976-1980), he compiled 1,704 points and 950 rebounds. As a senior, he averaged 17.4 points and shot .567 from the floor, leading the Gophers to the NIT championship game. In 1995, coinciding with the university's 100th anniversary, he was selected its top basketball player in history.
His final seasons were plagued by foot problems, which grew progressively worse, eventually forcing him to give up playing. His number 32 Celtics jersey was retired in 1994.
After playing his last game in 1993, Kevin, 36, joined the Minnesota Timberwolves as a television analyst and special assistant. A year later, he advanced to assistant general manager, and in 1995 was named vice president of basketball operations. With Kevin in the front office, the Timberwolves added young stars and captured their first-ever playoff berth in 1996-97. He demonstrated that he could get the job done in an executive capacity, too. In February 2005, he assumed the Timberwolves head coaching duties. Later in 2005, he handed the reins to Dwane Casey.
Kevin and his wife, Lynn, along with their five children, Kristyn, Michael, Joseph, Alexandra and Thomas, reside in North Oaks, Minn.