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Warriors get the band back together; special trio on hand for Game 3

OAKLAND — Tim Hardaway, the point guard who powered the Warriors’ Run TMC teams of the early 1990s, enters the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night.
“It means a lot to me,” Hardaway said Sunday night while watching his old team dismantle the Houston Rockets 126-85 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. “Every time I come here, I get goosebumps on my neck.”
Hardaway, 51, expects to experience those same emotions during ceremonies at the Westin St. Francis. “I was looking at the list of people in the Bay Area Hall of Fame, and you’re talking about ‘Say Hey’ (Willie Mays), Jerry Rice and my two guys, Mitch and Mully.”
Tim Hardaway. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin — the M and the C of Run TMC — will be there to support their old teammate. Richmond is scheduled to introduce Hardaway, and Mullin is his unofficial publicist.
“To me, he should be in every Hall of Fame,” said Mullin, 54, who coaches his alma mater St. John’s and has Richmond on staff. “He was our heart and soul. Every team he’s been on he’s been like that. Incredible teammate, incredible player. I do think he’ll be in the Hall of Fame. For now, he’s one of the most underrated guys.”
Hardaway, Richmond and Mullin were the namesakes for the Don Nelson-coached Run TMC teams of 1989-90 and 1990-91 that averaged 116 points each season.
When the three watch the wide-open, small-ball style utilized by the current Warriors and Rockets, they feel an easy kinship.
“I feel like both teams are playing the game the way we played,” Hardaway said. “The Warriors just move the ball a lot better. And they have a 7-foot guard.”
That was a reference to Kevin Durant, a forward with guard skills who separates these Warriors from all others.
“They score like us, they move the ball the way we did,” said Richmond, 52. “They’ve got the 7-foot guard. We didn’t have that. Nobody has that.”
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni gets a lot of credit for creating the popular offensive style, but the Run TMC stars believe their coach deserves a big share of that.
Chris Mullin. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
“I always say the way basketball is today, we were playing it 25 years ago. Don Nelson never gets the credit he deserves,” Hardaway said of the man who coached the Warriors from 1988-1995 and also 2006-2010.. “We called it controlled chaos. We knew how to move without the basketball, set back screens, and we knew how to create and take advantage of mismatches.”
Run TMC used that style to energize the home crowd in much the same way the current team does. In 1990-91, as a second-year pro, Hardaway averaged 22.9 points, 9.7 assists and 2.6 steals.
“He was the catalyst. He was the one who was driving the ship,” Richmond said. “Right before training camp, I remember Nellie brought the whole team together and said, `Tim is the quarterback. Just run the floor and he’ll find you.’ ”
Mullin averaged 25.7 points and Richmond 23.9 that season playing to a home crowd Hardaway called the best in the NBA. “They know about basketball,” he said.
The Warriors stunned the David Robinson-led San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the ’91 playoffs, winning the series 3-1. Hardaway scored 32 points in the decisive fourth game.
The Lakers eliminated the Warriors in the second round, and Richmond was traded to Sacramento for Billy Owens in the offseason, ending the Run TMC era after just two seasons.
Mitch Richmond. 
“I don’t think there is a week that goes by I don’t think about that because I was the one shipped out,” Richmond said. “It was hard because I thought I was going to be here forever.”
Run TMC will be together again Monday night, and all three play to enjoy the reunion.
* Others in the 2018 BASHOF class are former 49ers tackle Harris Barton, Giants pitcher Matt Cain, soccer star Brandi Chastain and 49ers executive John McVay.
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