Fast Break: Mullin on HOF induction
With a celebratory tone, ESPN NBA analyst Chris Mullin recalled a memorable phone conversation.
“I can remember getting the call for the Hall of Fame like it was yesterday,” Mullin said.
“My wife handed me the phone and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the other end. It’s a great feeling.”
Mullin, a five-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, officially will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday at Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass.
During his career, Mullin scored 17,911 points, averaging more than 20 points per game in six consecutive seasons (1987-93).
He averaged 18.2 points per game throughout his career while shooting 51 percent from the field and 87 percent from the free throw line.
The longtime Golden State Warriors star (and former GM) provided Front Row with his thoughts on everything from working as an analyst, to his experience with the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team” — to how many takes it took to make that crazy trick shot behind the ESPN Cafe’.
FR: When watching basketball games, are you still envisioning yourself on the court and what you would do in a particular situation?
Mullin: I always think about what I might have done against a particular player or in a certain game, but the game today is so much more athletic. It’s faster and in in a lot of ways the game is better.
FR: Is there anything you wanted to accomplish on the court that you didn’t accomplish?
CM: Looking back, I wish I could have won a [NBA] championship. But not winning a ring is not something I will lose sleep over. Basketball and my total career at different levels will always bring a smile to my face.
FR: What is your favorite moment on the court when you sit back and look at your career?
CM: We had a playoff game against the [Los Angeles] Lakers in 1991 and it was definitely my best playoff game against Magic [Johnson, fellow Hall Of Famer and ESPN analyst]. We won a tough game on the road and Magic was one of the guys I looked up to. You wanted to play well against him and get their stamp of approval.
FR: What was your experience like on the 1992 “Dream Team”?
CM: The whole summer was one big dream. You look at the roster filled with so many accomplishments and it’s pretty amazing. The brand of basketball we played was at such a high level. I think we set an example for the rest of the world to follow.
FR: Who’s going to introduce you and why did you pick that person?
CM: It was a pretty easy decision for me. Relationship wise alone, Coach Lou [Carnesecca, Mullin’s coach at St. John’s] is my guy. He is the person most responsible for me being here. He’s the guy I’ve known the longest and really taught me the fundamentals of the game. I owe everything to him.
FR: What will you talk about in your Hall of Fame speech?
CM: My main message is to just say thank you. It’s humbling to think I will be in that collection of players. All of my coaches and teammates throughout the years really had an impact on me getting here.
FR: What have you learned working at ESPN that you did not know about the TV industry?
CM: I really enjoy it and I look forward to getting better. It’s like the transition from college basketball to the NBA. It can be challenging at first, but once I really find my niche, I’ll be in good shape.
FR: How difficult was it for you to make that trick shot on the ESPN basketball court? Did you make the shot with just one take?
CM: I saw a few folks goofing around on the basketball court trying to make a shot by bouncing the ball off the wall. I figured I would give it a try and I made it on the first shot. A big part of sports is pure luck.