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"The way we played back then is the way the game is played now" - Chris Mullin reflects on Golden State Warriors' Run TMC

Even Tim Hardaway admitted Run TMC's style had no name
Former Golden State Warriors players Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, and Tim Hardaway, collectively known as Run TMC in 2022

Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, and Tim Hardaway

Every time Golden State Warriors legend Chris Mullin checks in and watches the present-day NBA games, he couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. Why? Because Mullin sees the similarities in playing style between most teams in today’s NBA and his then-famous trio, Run TMC.

That looks familiar

For those who didn’t know, the Warriors, during the tutelage of legendary NBA coach Don Nelson, formed the “Run TMC,” a small ball trio composed of Mullin, Mitch Richmond and Tim Hardaway. It was an instant hit as all three players were capable of switching, running the floor, shooting from all cylinders, and attacking the basket. Everybody thought Golden State had started something that the entire league would try to beat. However, some viewed it as unconventional and unreliable.

Fast forward to the present, Mullin finds it ironic that after more than three decades, he’d come to realize that today’s game is in many ways identical with that of Run TMC.

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“Ironically, the way we played back then is the way the game is played now 30 years later,” Mullin told Mirror Sport. “Don Nelson was a visionary, way ahead of his time. He did it in Milwaukee and then came here. We played almost exclusively small ball and had some upsets in the playoffs, but we always ran into trouble in the second round. Back then when there was a bunch of dominant centers, whether it be David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing - big players that would dominate offensive rebounding or just post up.”

Unexpectedly legendary

Undeniably, many fans miss the good old days when Run TMC ruled the NBA. Like Mullin, we might see some Run TMC written all over the way the game is being played today but for some reason, we can’t really explain why we think it’s the same.

As it turned out, that was the beauty of Run TMC. It was effective. It was lethal. It was recognizable. But at the same time, it had no name.

“Around the league it was: ‘What are you all doing? What is this about?’ They didn’t know how to even play against us. They didn’t know how to discuss it. They didn’t know how to plan for it. It was mind-boggling to the other team…People couldn’t stop us. They couldn’t scout us. They didn’t know what we were doing because we didn’t know what we were doing,” Tim Hardaway once said.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what playing style Run TMC used to pull off back then. What’s important is that it made its mark on the league.

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