There was a big ol’ heartwarming rush of reconciliation when Chris Mullin made his press appearance in anticipation of his induction to the Hall of Fame the other day. It was just pretty sweet. Story over.
Except, wait, what’s that?
From the AP:
Mullin — set to be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next Friday night — counts new coach Mark Jackson among his close friends. He worked with assistant general manager Bob Myers when Myers was an agent and Mullin was Golden State’s executive vice president of basketball operations. He was dismissed after the 2008-09 season.
“I’ve spent so much time there. I have so many good feelings about the organization, about the area, about the fans,” Mullin said during a sit down with reporters Friday. “If something came about, yeah. All the time I put in there, I feel like I would do anything to help. They did a lot for me over my career, no question. I do feel a connection. I will always feel it, even when I went to Indiana. I’m a Warrior. That’s who I am. I played 13 years here.”
Woah, back up there. Hold the phone. This is pretty interesting stuff. Mullin was ousted in a power-grab by Don Nelson who then proceeded to absolutely tank the franchise. Mullin had made his fair share of questionable moves as acting GM in the Bay, but Nelson’s move to consolidate power and push Mullin out looked terrible in action and retrospect.
Mullin shared responsibility for the 2007 “We Believe” team but also was on the hook for the Monta Ellis contract, as well as the Stephen Jackson deal and in part for Baron Davis’ departure, though Mullin’s commitment to not overpay Davis should be looked at as a pretty smooth move looking back. A return to the Warriors might be odd with some of the few remaining faces there, though roster change is expected with a move towards a more defensive mindset and the expected trade of Monta Ellis.
The Warriors have put together a pretty solid decision-making team in Golden State as they transition the old team away from personnel moves and rely on more input from people like Jerry West who joined as a consultant and minority owner. What role Mullin could eventually take there is a long ways off, but it’s weird to note that he could rejoin the team after such an acrimonious departure.
Mullin joins two Hall of Fames this year, with both the National Basketball and National Collegiate Halls inducting him. Good year for the flat top.