In game 4, Bird's 3 on the buzzer goes on. Everyone forgets Magic's baby skyhook.
After winning game 5 at home, the Celtics are rudely grinded down in LA with a 93-106 loss, in effect, making their game 7, a near impossible win given all the injuries and lack of bench support.
But then, Greg Kite delivers his gift.
At the start of game 7, Kite "accidentally" elbows Mychal Thompson in the eye socket, causing him to wince and fall. Then, Thompson goes ballistic; he starts to wail on Kite, beating him unconscious which results in him getting ejected from the finals while Kite is taken out on a stretcher.
The whole of the NBA world is stunned in the minutes which followed ... until the Kevin McHale speech.
McHale, channeling Cornbeard Maxwell from three years back, while presenting his best Anthony Hopkin's delivery says, "Hop on my back, for I shall lead thee to a championship!"
And then, the game restarted, with no Thompson around to play dirty around the post.
McHale would catch, pivot, get off his best shot, and score. And this he could do with a taped up, broken ankle as pain no longer mattered to him.
It went on, play after play, as Bird & Parish parked themselves under the basket for the offensive boards and put backs, making the Big Three, the most effective 3 of all time.
Sure, Big Game James did his thing but in the end it was futile as every McHale possession result in either points for him or for Bird & Parish down low.
When the game was over, McHale scored 52 pts (at 63 FG%), 9 rebounds, and 3 assists and was Finals MVP and was taken out in a wheelchair, unable to walk after the final buzzer.
And that was that, Bird's 4th and final ring, but at the same time, a victory which actually cemented in the minds of all NBA fans that McHale was not some 2nd fiddle, but an all star in his own right.