Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Run TMC - The Most Entertaining Big Three of All-Time?

T - Tim Hardaway
M - Mitch Richmond
C - Chris Mullin

"Run TMC", derived from the famous hip-hop group from the 80's and 90's, Run DMC, was unselfish basketball at it's finest. Three players, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin, were exceptional at the sport of basketball and even better during the 2 seasons they played together, 1989-90 and 1990-91. The "Original Big Three" was started when Tim Hardaway was drafted out of UTEP and ended when Mitch Richmond was traded to the Sacramento Kings, in a trade that the Warriors regret. However, the 2 year span of Run TMC was arguably the most entertaining 2 year span of basketball in NBA History. The Golden State Warriors may of only won 1 playoff series during the Run TMC era, it was still the most entertaining basketball in NBA History.

Run TMC was a high scoring trio, averaging 61.9 PPG in their 1st season together and 72.5 PPG in their 2nd and final season together. Run TMC made the Warriors the highest scoring team in the 2 seasons they shone together, evident by the most combined points in a game in NBA History, in which Golden State faced Denver. I'm going to let Run TMC's own, Tim, Mitch and Chris explain their offense:

Run TMC played as one but there were 3 players.

T for Tim Hardaway

Run TMC Era Averages: 18.8 PPG, 9.2 APG, 4.0 RPG, 2.4 SPG, Shooting line: 47/33/78

During Tim Hardaway's seasons with the Warriors, especially the Run TMC era, he was known as one of the quickest players in the NBA. Not the fastest striaght-line speed player, although he was one of the top in that department, Hardaway had quickness unparalleled to anyone. His agility in the half-court offense was best shown in his patented "UTEP Two Step" crossover. Tim Hardaway destroyed defenders with this crossover. See for yourselves.

I would be lying if I said I haven't tried to do the UTEP Two Step like Tim, himself. Apart from his sickening crossovers, Hardaway's pull-up 3-point shot and off-balanced layups were one of his strengths that made him the great Point Guard that he was. His 2nd season in the 2 seasons of Run TMC, is arguably one of the best in his career. Hardaway couldn't of been drafted into a more perfect situation, as he fit wonderfully alongside Mitch and Chris. Tim was perfect for the type of offense the Warriors and particularly, Run TMC ran. Tim Hardaway was a 2013 Hall of Fame nominee but fell short in the final votes. He will surely be in the Hall of Fame one day. 

M for Mitch Richmond

Run TMC Era Averages: 23.0 PPG, 3.0 APG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG, Shooting line: 50/35/86

Mitch Richmond is the most underrated player in NBA History and it's no doubt. This generations fans remember his Sacramento Kings days more than his Run TMC days but for the people that know what I'm talking about, those 2 seasons were some of the most successful seasons of his career. Also known as "The Rock", Richmond was as tough of a Shooting Guard there was. He's a near 40% shooter from the arc in his career but when he attacked the basket and finished with a dunk, he looked like a Power Forward while doing so. His game was oh-so-very smooth. Y'all may be surprised to hear this but in an interview in the year 2000, Michael Jordan stated that the hardest person he ever had to guard was Mitch Richmond. The greatest player of all-time, one of the only two players to ever win the Defensive Player of the Year award, said that Run TMC's very own, Mitch Richmond, was the hardest defensive assignment he ever had. Richmond had some notable games against Jordan, including this game:

(Michael Jordan's post-game interview, where he was asked about Mitch Richmond, is at 8:08)

Mitch was nearly selected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, but fell short in the final votes. Mitch "The Rock" Richmond will certainly be a Hall of Famer one day.

If you read this Mitch Richmond, I just want to thank you for the follow on Twitter!

C for Chris Mullin

Run TMC Averages: 25.4 PPG, 4.1 APG, 5.7 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 0.7 BPG, Shooting line: 54/34/89

Chris Mullin, the 6'7 SF/SG that rarely dunked, but could shoot the lights out (like any other White Guard in the NBA). The 2013 Hall of Famer is in the Hall of Fame for a reason and that's because he was one of the best shooters in NBA History. In fact, he's still an amazing shooter at age 50. Mullin was known as the ultimate leak out man, always being open at the opposing team's basket while the rest of the players are still on the other side of the court. Other than his ability to shoot, the thing that rose Chris Mullin over the competition was his high basketball IQ. He knew where to be at the right time and always did the smart thing to do. Although, never considered a quick player, Mullin's hands sure made him quick; he had some of the quickest hands in the NBA. The one underrated factor in his game was his sneaky athleticism, even though he rarely dunked. As I remember Chris Mullin, I remember him more for his outstanding work ethic than his shooting touch. He's been known to come early to the gym and also practice until 10 pm, working on his craft. Once, there was a snow storm where he went to High School and according to the Janitor, instead of staying at home and do nothing, he came to the gym in his high school and worked on his game there from morning till night. If that doesn't scream, "I'm a future Hall of Famer", I don't know what does. Oh yeah, Chris Mullin was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

I didn't grow up watching them but you could say I watched them because I've watched many of their old games. Watching old games of Run TMC as a young basketball fan in the mid 2000's, made me wish I was born closer to the period of their excellence.

It's a shame that Run TMC was broken up before they could become a dynasty. If the Golden State Warriors could do it all over again, they wouldn't of traded Mitch Richmond to the Kings. Although, the trio only played 2 seasons together, they were arguably the most entertaining seasons in NBA History.

To cap off this article, here are some Run TMC highlights. I highly suggest you watch this:

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