When you think of Rucker Park, you don’t necessarily think of flat footed white guys draining rainbow threes. But if you ask some locals, Mullin is very much a part of the street hoops scene that NBA greats of today want to be part of during the off-season.
Marc Berman of the New York Post remembers Chris Mullin before Chris Mullin of Run TMC fame and before the buzz cut. As mentioned in an earlier post about Mark Jackson’s respect for his NYC brethren in Mullin, the former two-time Olympic gold medalist and first team All-NBAer (1991-1992) made a name for himself growing up in NYC among the likes of other NBA legends:
“It was a huge advantage in a lot of ways [growing up in New York],” Mullin added. “The players who came before me. Kareem [Abdul Jabbar], Tiny [Archibald], Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Connie Hawkins, Dr. J. I was in the ninth, 10th grade and Tiny is watching our games. So many guys you can aspire to be and look up to — besides the competition.”
In no way is Mullin suggesting he is as good as Kareem or Dr. J. But Berman’s story of Mullin’ New York upbringing reads like a history of New York hoops geography. A lover of the game, Berman reports that Mullin played everywhere and the list of geographies may shock us in the present moment as they are always racialized as “black” in the pop cultural imagination.
But this story by Berman adds to the legends of New York hoops history and it’s no surprise that Mullin is already a part of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.