Chris Mullin’s number 17 will hang from the rafters tonight and moving forward. He joins six other Warriors who have had their jersey retired. That list includes, Wilt Chamberlain (13), Rick Barry (No. 24), Al Attles (16), Tom Meschery (14) and Nate Thurmond (42).
The ceremony will take place at halftime tonight when the Warriors will play the Timberwolves.
Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1963, Mullins starred for Power Memorial Academy before transferring over to Catholic Xaverian High School. He was recruited by St. Johns, located in Queens, where Mullins starred for all four years at St. Johns (how rare! Last guy I remember playing all four years that was decent was Tim Duncan, not Tyler Hansborough).
His reason for picking number 17 was to honor his boy hood hero, Boston Celtics legend and guard, John Havlicek. Mullin would further honor that by having a decorated collegiate career and a very good pro career.
At St. Johns, he would accumulate several Big East Player of the Year awards, named to the All-America on several occasions, won Olympic gold in 1984 and in 1985, he would win the Wooden Award, USBWA College Player of the Year and lead his team to the Final Ford. Mullin still holds the record for all-time leading scorer at St. Johns.
He was selected in the first round, seventh overall by the Warriors. In 1985-1993, Mullin would develop into an all-star. He lead the team in scoring and rebounds and the Warriors made the playoffs five consecutive times. Mullin would also play in a Western Conference Finals where they lost to eventual champion, the Los Angles Lakers.
In 1993, the Warriors selected Chris Webber to help beef up their front court. And while this move would have worked (if Don Nelson wasn’t coaching!!!) Mullins’ body started to breakdown. He spent more time on the injured list than on the floor. During that breakdown of the body, Webber and Nelson began to have public tantrums and eventually Webber was traded away and Nelson was let go. Mullins, still on the team, was no longer the All-Star he once was. He was traded to the Indiana Pacers for Erick Dampier and Duane Ferrell. During his first time as a Warrior, he was on the 1994 Dream Team where they dominated to win the gold, making Mullin a two time gold medalist.
With the Pacers and Larry Bird coaching, Mullins career revived. In his first season as a Pacer, he played in all 82 games and helped the Pacers get into the Eastern Conference Finals. However, they ran into some guy named, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls and lost. In his final two years at Indiana, he was back to the injured Mullin and played only 50 and 47 games respectively. Finally the Pacers waived him and Mullin signed with the Warriors again with his second stint.
His second stint was his final stint as a Warrior and a NBA player. He would only play 20 games and averaged 5 points per game.
Mullin finally retired as a Warrrior after the 2001 season.
In his career, Mullin averaged 18 points, 4 boards and 3.5 assists.
After his final days in a Warrior uniform, the Warriors hired Mullin as a special assistant. In 2004, Mullin was promoted to Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. But as happy as those days were in 2004, that day would end in 2009, when the Warriors announced that Mullin’s contract would not be renewed.
He would instead go and work for ESPN as an analysts, which he is currently doing.
Mullin would be elected to the National Collegiate Hall of Fame in 2011. That same year would mark another milestone for Mullin as he was also elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.