Two Share an Optimistic View on Mullin
Chris Mullin’s former coach and current general manager agree that the former star of St. John’s basketball team will make the transition to the National Basketball Assn. because of a combination of skills and intangibles.
Mullin is a 6-foot-6 swing man who led St. John’s to a 27-3 record last season. His coach Lou Carnesecca.
Mullin was a first-round draft choice of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA draft.
“When Mullin was a kid they told him ‘Forget about basketball, you can’t run and you can’t jump,’ ” Carnesecca said. “At Power Memorial High School when he was All-New York City, they said ‘He can’t run and he can’t jump.’ When he was a star at St. John’s they said, ‘He can’t run and he can’t jump.’
“Then he was voted All-America plus such honors as a member of the Pan American and Olympic squads and he was drafted into the NBA,” Carnesecca added. “And now they’re saying around the NBA, ‘Can you imagine if Chris could only run or jump.’ ”
Warrior General Manager Al Attles said the transition from college ranks to the NBA is difficult for any athlete and that Mullin will be entering a new world of 7-foot giants.
“He is going to the best basketball competition in the world,” said Attles. “Like anyone else he will have to make adjustments.
“But he has three qualities that will enable him to do that. First, he understands how to play. Second, he can pass the ball. And, third, he can shoot the ball.”
Attles said a comparison across eras with Bob Cousy, one of the Boston Celtics’ greatest stars in the 1940s, was reasonable.
“He does some things like Cousy,” Attles said. “Cousy handled the ball better but Chris is a better shooter. The biggest thing about him is that he understands the game. It’s the biggest thing a lot of people don’t understand. “It means he can compensate and adjust.”
Attles also squashed reports that the Warriors were thinking of trading Mullin to the New York Knicks or another Eastern team.
“New York fans will see him as an opponent,” Attles said. “We have plans for him for many years.”