In the 1990-91 season, the Warriors were second in the league in scoring and the Bay Area became basketball crazy. Run TMC averaged a combined 72.5 points per game. To put that into perspective, the “Big Three” for the 2010-11 Miami Heat only averaged a combined 70.9 points per game.
That season Golden State would upset the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, but ran into Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals.
“For me it was the best time,” says Richmond.
The Warriors stole Game 2 of the series in Los Angeles, but dropped the following three to get bounced from the postseason. Little did they know that that series would be the last time Run TMC would play together.
Before the start of the 1991-92 season, Richmond was traded to the Sacramento Kings, where he would go on to be a six-time All-Star. But still the breakup for him was rough.
“It was really tough for me,” says Richmond. “It felt like a family for me.”
Mullin said that he was caught off guard and was shocked by the trade.
What made things worse was that Richmond’s first game for the Kings was on the road against Golden State.
Richmond, still in disbelief over the trade, walked to the wrong locker room when he got into the arena. He didn’t play that night, and the Kings were embarrassed by the Warriors 153-91.
“It was different,” says Hardaway. “It was tough times and it all started with Mitch being traded. It was the beginning of the end.”
Mullin, Hardaway and the Warriors would go on to win 55 games that season, but lose to the Seattle Supersonics in the first round of the playoffs. The remaining two would split in 1996, when Hardaway was traded to the Heat.
After the breakup, all three players went on to have successful careers. Hardaway and Mullin each came close to championships, but only Richmond was able to win a title with the Lakers in 2002, although his playing time was limited. Still their memories and friendships endure from their two seasons together.
“Our families ate together, vacationed together,” says Richmond.
“Every time we meet we learn something new about each other,” says Hardaway.
This reunion was to honor Mullin, the “C”, in Run TMC, but the newest member of the Hall of Fame pointed at his two former teammates and said, “If I can be a Hall of Famer, so can they.”
Only time will tell.
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