Chris Mullin isn’t the tallest guy nor the most athletic. He is more like Bird. A white boy who found a way to not only play in an athletic league but to also excel at the highest level. And because of his great achievements as a Warrior, not only does he get to have eternal place in the NBA Hall of Fame but so will his number as a Warrior. On April 12, 2011, Mullin was elected to the Hall of Fame. On January 20, 2012, Mullin’s number 17, will be retired as the Warriors play host to the Indiana Pacers. In his HOF career, Mullin was drafted 7th by the Warriors in 1985. Bred during the dying breed, Mullin played four years of collegiate level at St. Johns. He played one year with Mark Jackson, who credited Mullin for helping him building a good work ethic.
Dead eyed shooter, Mullin played his first 12 years in the league as a Warrior and ended as a Warrior. In his first stint with the Warriors, Mullin was part of a successful franchise, averaging 25 points per game. Mullin, Mitch Richmond and rookie draft, Tim Hardway made up the core of the Warriors and they made the playoffs each first five years. Additionally, Mullin won two Olympic medals, most notable with the 1992 Dream Team.
If anything were to slow Mullin down, it would be his injuries. Drafting Chris Webber in 1993-1994 season helped the Warriors for one year. Injuries began to pile on Mullin and Webber and head coach Don Nelson began to get into a bicker argument about Webber’s playing time, ultimately helped the trade to the Pacers. Though Mullin had a successful first year as a Pacer, led by head coach Larry Bird, it was the pressing injuries that force Mullin to miss significant amount of time. Eventually the Pacers waived him. In 2000-2001 season, he signed with the Warriors and was his last year as an NBA player.
In 2004, Mullin began his new career being hired by the Warriors as an Executive Vice President of Operations for the Warriors. But clashing with owners and GM, Mullin’s contract was not renewed and he was released in 2009. A combination of losing seasons and horrible management, fans were outraged when Mullin’s contract wasn’t renewed. While under former management didn’t even think about retiring Mullin’s number or even recognizing one of the more famous faces to a flailing franchise. New ownership has already promised more and better. A great first step is to recognize one of the Warrior’s greatest players. Mullin will join an elite six players who have had their numbers retired by the Warriors.