What Does Chris Mullin’s Departure Mean For Sacramento?


This past Sunday, the rumor was that current Sacramento Kings’ advisor Chris Mullin was offered the recently-vacated head coaching job at St. John’s University. The job had recently opened due to the previous coach Steve Lavin and the school mutually agreeing to part ways this past week.

Mullin decided to accept the offer on Monday afternoon. The people of Queens, New York were thrilled to hear their famous alumni and former All-American player was returning to the borough to be the coach of their program.

You may be asking why this matters to the Kings, since Mullin was a super star in the NBA after being drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 1985 NBA Draft. Well, Mullin was brought in as an advisor for the Kings in May of 2013 when The Maloofs (thankfully) sold the team to current owner Vivek Ranadive.

As an advisor, Mullin was given the tasks of providing advice to Ranadive and the front office on most trades and free agent signings, and overseeing the team’s college and foreign scouting departments. Now, the Kings will search for another advisor to fulfill Mullin’s duties.

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Where this becomes an actual story worth digging a little deeper into though, is when we take a look at what Mullin actually meant to the team, especially Ranadive. It is all but announced in Sacramento that Mullin did much more than simply offer advice to the rest of the front office.

It is all but announced in Sacramento that Mullin did much more than simply offer advice to the rest of the front office.

Back in December when the Kings shockingly fired then-coach Mike Malone, many players were less than excited about the move. Malone had slowly been making progress, especially when it came to keeping DeMarcus Cousins calm and steady. The main reason the team started 11-13 this season was because of Cousins missing several weeks with viral meningitis, something Malone had no control over.

Nevertheless, it is said that Mullin was the one who made the biggest push to can Malone, which normally wouldn’t come from an advisor. Usually coaching decisions are made by the owner after talking with other high-up personnel, such as the team president and GM. This is why whoever the Kings tap as Mullin’s replacement, or if they even hire someone else, is so intriguing.

There is apparently the potential for much more power than the job description would indicate. Ranadive also pushed Malone and later interim head coach Ty Corbin to make the team into more of a fast-paced offense, advocating quick passes and shots.

This suggestion is also widely believed to have come from Mullin, who played a quick-tempo style of basketball at nearly every level of his career. Either way, who realistically would know more about what type of offense to implement for a team: a millionaire software developer, or an NBA Hall of Famer?

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Mullin has already been a player, GM, and broadcaster, so it makes sense he’d want to now try coaching. One would think the head coach has a lot more power than just an advisor. Unless, of course, you are the millionaire-owner’s right-hand man, as he clearly had become.

Mullin wasn’t in a prominent role, at least on paper, yet clearly had much more influence in Sacramento than the average fan would be led to believe.

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