After missing the closing part of the 1987-88 season, dealing with alcoholism, Golden State Warriors sharp-shooting small forward Chris Mullin returned in the full strength for the 1988-89 campaign.
That season ‘Mully’ shined for Don Nelson’s high-octane squad, hitting shots at will from all over the court while forming the foundation of what will soon become known all over the world as ‘Run TMC’, with the spectacular Warriors rookie shooting guard Mitch Ritchmond.
During 1988-89 season Mullin started all 82 games for the Golden State Warriors as the small forward spot averaging career-best 26.5 points, 5.9 boards, 5.1 dimes, and 2.1 steals in the 37.7 minutes per contest.
His selection onto the 1989 NBA All-Star Game in Houston where he scored four points in 14 minutes of action marked the first of the five consecutive NBA All-Star selections (1989-1993).
Just before 1989 All-Star break, Mullin played one of his most memorable games of the 1988-89 season scoring 28 points (to go along with 7 boards, 11 dimes, and 4 steals) to the 1988 World Champions – Los Angeles Lakers.
Even with the NBA defensive master Michael Cooper totally all over him all of the time, each time down the court ‘Mully’ would somehow find the way to shoot over ‘Coop’, using an extra dribble, ball-fake or step-back jumper.
That particular night Mullin sank 12-20 shots and all four of his free-throws while leading the climbing Warriors (25-19) to hard-fought 121-118 visiting victory over the World Champions Lakers on the floor of The Forum.
Couple of years later, in 1991 NBA postseason, Mullin again amazed the crowd (and Chick Hearn as commentator!) in The Forum by scoring 41 points on 16-21 shooting, in what is today known as his most memorable NBA game.
Watching unstoppable Mullin hitting shots at will against World Champions Lakers makes you wonder if Magic Johnson is right when he boldly claims that 1980s Lakers would deal with today’s Warriors with ease…
Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is BN contributor and the author of the book ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ which can be found here.