ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy (who would make a fantastic Defensive Coordinator for the Warriors right now) during last night's trashing by the Mavs via Nellie should be glad Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson aren't covering Warriors [Examiner]:
My question is why is Chris Mullin being treated like he's being treated in Golden State right now? One of the great players; good administrator. Did he make some moves that in hindsight you question? Yeah. But he got rid of the bad contracts. He's built a good team. He's done a good job. I don't understand why they're making him go through this. Either fire him and let him go someplace else or let him do his job.
Make the jump for some very detailed answers to Van Gundy's questions and thoughts about this Warriors roster.
My question is why is Chris Mullin being treated like he's being treated in Golden State right now?
My question is why does the media continue to break out the kiddie gloves for Chris Mullin? What exactly have the Warriors done to mistreat him? Just like when Mullin lied to Jason Richardson and said he wouldn't trade him, but then moved him in that silly cost cutting move- it's a business. Mullin simply hasn't performed and his assemblage of this young and dumb (in terms of hoops IQ), defenseless, NBDL, 6th men paid like stars roster is a complete joke. I fully understand why Mullin's ambivalent attitude to Monta Ellis violating his contract, lying about it, and missing half of this past season didn't exactly strike a chord with team President Robert Rowell and owner Chris Cohan (not that either of them are the least bit professional or competent).
One of the great players
Mullin was indeed a great player- not Hall of Fame great, but a Dream Teamer and a very fun player (aside from his D). But what does that have to do with Chris Mullin the GM/ VP? You don't keep someone on in a role that they were never fit for hire, just because they were great for you in some other unrelated role years ago.
So good that during his 5 year tenure with the Dubs, the rosters he's assembled have made the playoffs once? Pre-Nellie Mullin was absolutely clueless and way in over his head. All of the moves that are supposedly his alone- the Marcus Williams trade, drafting Marco Belinelli and believing he was a good replacement for Jason Richardson, keeping Brandan Wright, inking 2nd round bust Kosta Perovic to a 2 year $3.5 million deal with a 3rd year team option (most likely the most foolishly lucrative 2nd round signing of all time) look pretty bad right now. Where's the good administration?
Did he make some moves that in hindsight you question? Yeah.
Inking Derek Fisher, Adonal Foyle, Mike Dunleavy, and Troy Murphy to those silly deals, blowing all those draft picks (Ike Diogu and Patrick O'Bryant isn't exactly great like Jamison's back-to-back 51's), trading away Jason Richardson to get even younger, softer, and more inexperienced, failing to use multiple large trade exceptions, signing Austin Croshere and Troy Hudson- didn't all just look like absolutely clueless moves in hindsight, but they looked like incredibly foolish decisions at the time and signs of a man not fit for managing a half a billion dollar corporation. Let's not forget Mullin's complete inability over his 4.5 year VP/GM tenure with the Warriors to find a good starting power forward who can rebound and score at a high percentage.
But he got rid of the bad contracts.
Not entirely true. Foyle's still on the books this year for $6.8 million-- would've been a great expiring contract, but oh well. And since when does an NBA GM get props for buying out contracts from the likes of Kosta Perovic and Sarunas Jasikevicius? Yes, he did indeed manage to dump those silly gift contracts to Dunleavy and Murphy to Larry Bird and the Pacers, but what's the point when about 1.5 years later you're going to overspend it on Corey Maggette? Digging yourself out of the hole you dug yourself into and continue to dig, shouldn't earn you points.
He's built a good team.
14-32 never felt so "good"!
He's done a good job.
For who? The NBDL? During the telecast Van Gundy was praising Mullin for his scouting and all the D-League finds on the Warriors roster. Well let's be fair. None of these guys are top 50 or even top 100 (maybe even 150) players in the NBA. Mullin's had to "find" so many NBDL players to populate this roster precisely because he's lost on so many other moves as the VP/ GM of this team.
I don't understand why they're making him go through this. Either fire him and let him go someplace else or let him do his job.
Look, I like Mullin. Great player. Every time I've seen him in person, he's been a really nice guy and by all reports I've heard and read that that's not just my imagination. But I really don't understand what he's "going through". If it's so bad (which I doubt it is) he can resign or quit.
As a longtime head coach in this league (and a damn good one who's one of my all time favs) I'm pretty surprised at Van Gundy's stance on Mullin. If Van Gundy was coaching under Mullin he'd go absolutely nuts. Nuts. NUTS.
Do think you really think Van Gundy would be happy about having to coach the worst defensive backcourt in the league featuring Monta Ellis (hasn't even tried on D since his second year in the league), Jamal Crawford (the next time he's in the right position on D will be his first in a Warriors uni), CJ Watson (let's just say he didn't get called up from the NBDL for his D), Kelenna Azubuike (maybe the easiest big minute player in the league to beat off the dribble), and Marco Belinelli (soft). At the wings there's Corey Maggette (would play D if it would get him to the free throw line) and Stephen Jackson (half the time he doesn't get back on D because he's complaining about some non-call). Up front there's Andris Biedrins (can't guard a single 4 or 5 in the league mano y mano and routinely surrenders career nights to opposing big men), Brandan Wright (it looks like he's playing zone when the rest of the team is playing man and playing man when the rest of the team is playing zone), and Anthony Randolph (just isn't physically ready to play D in the NBA). The best defender on this team Ronny Turiaf thinks good D = blocking shots and nothing else.
You really think Jeff Van "Pat Riley Part II" Gundy would be having any of that? If Van Gundy was given that roster he'd drag Mullin by the feet like Alonzo Mourning out of the Roaracle.
Now I don't doubt for a second that Van Gundy could have this current Warriors team playing better D than Nellie. Not for a second. Van Gundy's a phenomenal defensive coach. But it'd be at the cost of plenty of offense and I doubt it would make that much of a difference in the win column (if any). Nellie's a phenomenal offensive coach. Coaching ain't the problem here. It's the ZERO All-Star roster that's way too young (i.e. not ready) for the NBA.
More and more it looks like the local and national media are looking for nothing but great story lines to make this horrendous 2008-2009 Golden State Warriors season interesting. Even if it's undeserved and unfair. Someone's got to be the good guy ("poor Mullin the good administrator", "poor rookie Anthony Randolph who can't get any playing time"- by the way AR's already played more minutes than Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli, and even Ronny Turiaf did during their rookie seasons) and someone's got to be the bad guy (all the Nellie-haters who can't name a single coach who could coach this terrible and banged up roster to a significantly better record).
But I can sympathize with them. It's hard watching this organization's sorry product night-in and night-out and it's even harder writing or talking about it. (Thank goodness- We Got Jokes.) It's really not that enjoyable to analyze a non-playoff team for the 15th time in 17 long, long, long years.