Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
Before the Steph Curry-led Golden State Warriors ran roughshod over the NBA, there was another group of Warriors that forced opponents into submission with their high scoring ways. That, of course, would be ‘Run TMC,’ consisting of Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, the latter of which joined JR on this week’s edition of JR Sport Brief to discuss today’s run-and-gun Warriors, his days with the Warriors, team USA basketball and what on Earth is going on with the Sacramento Kings.
But obviously, at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now is the injury to Curry.
“As far as Curry, I think the guys still have a great team – they won 73 games,” Richmond told JR. “No question about it Curry is going to be missed, but I think they just got to find another way how to win and play like a normal, traditional team. Not necessarily saying slow it up, but Curry was shooting shots from half court and making tremendous plays with his passing, with his dribbling, with his ball handling, and I think you just have to keep to your principles, keep to what you do best.”
Thankfully, slowing it down won’t be in the team’s long-term plans as Curry should return at some point in the second round and bring back the normal high-flying Warriors – a team that Richmond says reminds him of the ‘Run TMC’ team he played on almost three decades ago.
“Every time we see those guys play – I feel like a number of guys can say where they kind of got the style from – but we did play that style and what they’ve done now is they’ve mastered it from a long distance,” Richmond said. “You’ve got Klay (Thompson), Curry, you know they’re probably the best shooters in the game. So they move the ball; they pass they cut, they play fast. Don Nelson brought that in 30 years ago. It’s just really fun to watch and really fun to play.”
As fun as it is to watch and play, some have called the Warriors’ style “bad for the game,” something Richmond doesn’t agree with at all.
“If you look at it, if you didn’t have the Golden State Warriors, what game would you be watching right now?,” Richmond said. “I’ve heard that every arena that the team plays at now, they’re letting the fans in early so they can see Stephen Curry warm up. If that’s not a phenomenon I don’t know what is. They’re fun to watch, they’re fun for the game. I don’t know who those people saying that it’s not fun basketball, I don’t know who those guys are.”
While it’s all fun and games in Oakland, things aren’t so peachy for one of Richmond’s other former teams in Sacramento, where as JR puts it, the Kings “can’t get it together to save their life.”
“I’ve said it earlier, when you’re really and truly trying to build a team and trying to get it up to that level, you really just have to focus on the basketball side,” Richmond explained. “You’ve just got to concentrate on basketball. Forget about how many tickets you sell, how many fliers you have in the arena, how many interviews you do – it’s about being quiet I think and really just worrying about your basketball team. They’ve got some work to do, but they’ve got some great talent over there, too.”
Speaking of great talent, Richmond and JR also discussed the upcoming summer Olympics in Brazil and the 1996 team Richmond played on that took home the gold medal from the Atlanta Olympic games.
“It really was fun for me to go back and play in ’96, because I was on the ’88 team and we lost the gold medal, which was the last college team,” Richmond said. “For me it was so special to go back in ’96 and redeem myself and come with a group of guys that know that we’re going to fight for it.”
Richmond still has close ties to USA basketball, which will play multiple exhibition games in the states before heading to Brazil for the 2016 Olympic games.
The 2016 USA Basketball Showcase Presented By Verizon tips off on Friday, July 22 and includes games in five US cities — Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago and Houston.
USA Men’s National Team opponents include Argentina, China, 2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist Venezuela, and Nigeria.
Tickets for the USA Basketball Showcase exhibition games will go on sale starting April 29. For ticket information visit USAB.COM/SHOWCASE.