Mullin, St. John's basketball featured on 60 minutes sports
Chris Mullin spent much of his professional basketball career in mellow California but he hasn’t lost his Brooklyn attitude.
St. John’s newest basketball coach may be 52 years old, but he still schools his players at H-O-R-S-E.
“No one can beat me,” the Red Storm icon tells correspondent Jim Axelrod in a 60 Minutes Sports segment that airs Tuesday on Showtime.
“I’m still in decent shape, you know,” Mullin says, laughing. “I’m in a gym, so I shoot some shots. I don’t shoot a lot, but enough where no one’s gonna beat me.”
Mullin, a five-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, brings that same confidence to his job at St. John’s. The Red Storm has been mired in mediocrity for years and is predicted by many pundits to finish last in the Big East this season. But Mullin believes he can eventually lead the team to the Top 20.
Mullin said the formula that worked for the legendary Lou Carnesecca is the key to future success.
“He was always into preparation, practice, rehearsal,” Mullin says, “So if you have good daily habits and you stick to them, the good days will come.”
It’s the same approach he used to overcome the alcohol problem that threatened to derail his NBA career in the 1980s, Mullin said. “When you have good daily habits and you keep repeating them over the years, that’s what you’re able to give yourself,” Mullin says. “The gift I got was the gift of recovery.”
Mullin, drafted in the first round of the 1985 draft by the Golden State Warriors, played in the NBA for 16 seasons and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Mullin says he’s not afraid that failure will tarnish his reputation at St. John’s.
“Look, if I looked at things that way, I would’ve never played basketball,” he says. “They’d say, ‘You’re too slow. You can’t jump. You can’t run.’”
Carnesecca, 90, says Mullin’s skills as a player - the same skills that help him beat his players at H-O-R-S-E — will help him turn St. John’s around.
“He’ll show them how to do it. I could never show anybody how to. But he’ll be able to show it. That’s a big force. It’s not coming out of a book.”