Skip to main content

"They didn’t know what we were doing because we didn’t know what we were doing." — How Golden State Warriors' Run TMC took the NBA by storm

Even Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin didn’t have a name for their style. The only thing clear was that the NBA wasn’t ready for it.
Golden State Warriors former players Mitch Richmond , Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway

Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin, and Tim Hardaway

In the 1989-90 season, the Golden State Warriors started something short-lived but remembered forever. Finishing the campaign with a 37-45 record, the Warriors failed to make it to the playoffs, but they led the regular season in scoring with 116.3 points per game. And more than half of that incredible feat was because of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, who would later be branded as the “Run TMC.”

Run TMC was just different

The following season, the Warriors, led by Hardaway, Richmond, and Mullin, improved their record to 44-38. Golden State was the second-best scoring team, and nobody knew how to stop the trio’s offensive prowess. In fact, even Hardaway, Richmond, and Mullin didn’t have a name for their style. The only thing clear was that the NBA wasn’t ready for it.

Big guys playing outside, small guys going inside, point forwards starting the offense,” Hardaway said in 2015 via “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. If they went to the playbook, we’d be like ‘what are you looking at?’ Because we might have a playbook but we’re not running them tonight. We’re just running you.

The unconventional yet highly-effective scoring resulted in the Warriors landing the seventh spot in the post-season. They faced the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs and lost Game 1. After the defeat, then-Golden State coach Don Nelson figured out a way to beat the Spurs. And whatever it was, it got the job done as the Warriors edged the Spurs and advanced to the second round.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

I remember losing the first game and having a team meeting, and how confident Nellie was that we were going to win the series,” Mullin recalled. “He said, ‘I found something. I found it. We’re going to get them. We’re gonna beat them.’

The Warriors faced Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semis. Golden State lost Game 1, but they stole Game 2 and headed home to Oakland, brimming with confidence. It was in the hyped team introduction in Game 3 that officially put a name on the trio’s lethal playing style. Introduced by the legendary Hip hop group, Run DMC, Hardaway, Richmond, and Mullin earned the moniker “Run TMC.”

It was fun

Heading into the new season, Run TMC was ready to bounce back. However, Richmond was traded to the Sacramento Kings just before the regular season began. It ended what could’ve been a Run TMC era in Golden State. Nevertheless, Hardaway, Richmond, and Mullin share the sentiment that having done something remarkable like that was fun.

You know, we didn’t win championships together,” Mullin said of Run TMC. “But we had a lot of fun, and we drove a lot of people crazy because we played a crazy style…Wish we would have done a little more, but for that little three-year period, man, we had a ball.

Looking back, it leaves us thinking, what else could Run TMC have accomplished had they stuck together? Too bad, we’ll never know.

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

“It’s always been a home for me” - Damian Lillard talks about staying in Portland and ending the Trail Blazers’ decades-long title drought

The Portland Trail Blazers have not won a title since 1977, and Damian Lillard wants to end the drought.

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown and forward Jayson Tatum

"We want to win a championship, and if along the way we’re the best duo, we’ll take it" — Jayson Tatum speaks on Jaylen Brown and their partnership

Every team in the NBA is hoping to land an athletic scoring wing who can defend multiple positions. The Celtics have two of the best in the NBA.

Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade and power forward Udonis Haslem

“I’m fuc**ng somebody up” — when Udonis Haslem took revenge on opponents who roughed up Dwyane Wade

Tyler Hansbrough probably regretted celebrating his hard foul on Dwyane Wade after Udonis Haslem's retaliation.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker

“I’m not a part of that” — Devin Booker laughs at the idea of load management

Devin Booker said he has prepared his body to play heavy minutes this season and help the Phoenix Suns win basketball games.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul

Wildest reactions to Kanye West saying Kim Kardashian was having an affair with Chris Paul

The internet remains undefeated - Hubie Talks Hoops and Vator win the day in our book.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson and members of the USA mens basketball team

“Deep down, it bothered me” — Allen Iverson reveals he was hurt about not being on the Redeem Team

While AI did admit that he was happy about the success of the 2008 US team, he couldn't help but feel bothered because he wasn't a part of it.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith

“I put my career on the line every day fighting for us!” — Stephen A Smith responds to ESPN colleague who called him a c**n

Steven A. Smith defended himself and made it clear that he’d be the first one to admit if he was wrong.

kobe bryant

"The lockout was made to restrict the Lakers" — When Kobe Bryant claimed the 2011 NBA lockout was a setup

Kobe Bryant also shared his thoughts on the infamous Chris Paul trade that got vetoed by David Stern