When Mike Krzyzewski took the Duke job, he had a lot to learn and one of the things he really had to figure out was recruiting.
One of his great early misses was Chris Mullin. The Brooklyn native chose St. John’s instead and helped make the Johnnies nationally relevant again. He led St. John’s to the 1985 Final Four and finished his career with 2,440 points.
The Golden State Warriors took him with the #7 pick in the 1985 draft (Benjamin Benoit, Jon Koncac and Joe Kleine were all taken ahead of him which looks horrible in retrospect but the NBA was focused on big men then).
Living on the West Coast was a major adjustment for Mullin and for a time he drank heavily. In his third season, he realized he was an alcoholic. The Warriors suspended him and soon he was in rehab.
After that, Mullin was superb for Golden State. He became fanatically conditioned, even by NBA standards, and emerged as one of the finest shooters in NBA history.
He was also on the Dream Team in 1992.
He never dazzled anyone with moves or anything. His game was more about economy of movement and out-thinking his opponent.
His productivity trailed off late in his career but no one underestimated the brilliance of his peak years. Mullin was simply one of the greats and was honored accordingly when the College Basketball Hall of Fame inducted him in 2010.
The Naismith Hall of Fame inducted him twice, first in 2010 along with the rest of the Dream Team and individually in 2011.