Monday, May 14, 2007

McHale says he wasn't smoking pot

True Hoop last week posted the following story from John Mellencamp found in Blender Magazine:

I've known Larry Bird since we were kids. When he was on the Celtics and I was playing in Boston, he and Kevin McHale would come to my dressing room after the show and smoke me under the table.

Star Tribune gossip columnist C.J. called McHale about the story and got the following response from Wolves PR director Mike Cristaldi:

"I've heard about the John Mellencamp blog or what-not," said Crisaldi. "After talking to Kevin he told me to pass along that if you assume anything other than cigarettes and cigars then you'd be wrong. As he said, Larry and John were having some cigarettes and he, Kevin, smoked cigars. Nothing more than that."

KFAN's Dan Barreiro talked about the Mellencamp story on his show on Thursday and later that day received a phonecall from McHale who was "just screaming" at him. Barreiro says that it was the first time the two had "had any kind of conversation in years." (You can listen to Barreiro talk about the conversation here.)

Barreiro said that McHale stressed that the quote does not say "smoked pot, which is true. The quote 'smoked under the table,' I don't think people are usually talking about cigarettes. He claimed they smoked cigars. Which might be true.

John Mellencamp used to smoke 4-5 packs of cigarettes a day so it seems highly unlikely that McHale or Bird could have even kept up with let alone surpassed Mellencamp in that department. Secondly, no one uses the term "smoke me under the table" in reference to any legal substance. If it were cigars or cigarettes to which the musician was referring, chances are he would have said as much. Clinton's "I didn't inhale" line seems more believable than the team's response to this one.