Because I will never get to see them in this league that would let them take full advantage of it. I always loved Mullin and was interested by Chris Jackson and anyone who has been here a while knows I think Reggie was overrated.....but it isn’t an issue of my fanhood(or lack of it).
I’ve made videos on all of them:
Though with Mullins I kinda failed my usual mission of showing how a person played and not a string of highlights.
When you look at these guys numbers in their primes and compare them to people now you really have no idea how good they were shooting the ball.
They simply did not shoot enough to offset the number of bad threes one is forced into from time to time. Especially Mullin and Jackson. Reggie too but to a lesser degree.
In his highest scoring season Reggie attempted 362 threes. That would not place him in the top 20 in attempts currently in this incomplete season. James Harden is over 600 with a month and change to go. Peak scoring Reggie 362 full season.
Mullin in his peak scoring season? 27ppg....only 100 threes attempted. He shot 23%. 23/100 in a 27ppg season by one of the best shooters ever.
Chris Jackson’s best season? 197 attempts. Shot 35%.
All of them shot more as they got older and became role players who were spotting up more than straight up taking it to you. Plus they shot more/better with the line moved in but I’m talking when they were scorers in their primes.
They can still shoot now. There’s a video on Rauf making 102-104 at like 43 years old. Here is Chris Mullin beating Durant in a shooting contest 6 months ago:
Not to say he’d be a better shooter in a game at his age of course....just that he’s still got it.
But to a man everyone in those days played in offenses that did not look to generate many open looks outside. A greater percentage of the attempts were of the wild no choice variety or off the dribble. Even the teams that were considered insane for shooting so many threes didn’t take many. Steph Curry a couple years ago I believe took more threes then the 120 point per game nuggets who blew away all the records in the early 90s. If he didn’t he came damn close.
And for the record I’m going to go on and exempt Steph from this conversation because he is something of an alien. He may not be from another planet but he could be an earthling from another dimension or something. He’s the GOAT outside and my case is in no way meant to suggest otherwise.
A lot of guys from back the dropped into today’s NBA would get a lot more respect in the all-time great shooter discussions.
These guys were routinely coming off screens and taking shots with a foot on the line. Pump faking and stepping in and not....over for another 3. You can say it was an inefficient use of their talents but think about it for moment.
It was 1986 before the NCAA had the 3 point line in every conference. This is Reggie at UCLA:
Anything seem strange?
Notice the announcer talking about how once Reggie has what he calls the 23 foot line in the NBA he’s going to be a problem.
Now if you watch a lot of Mullin college highlights you might see a line:
Because St John’s played in MSG on the Knicks floor. And you can see him making 3s for 2 points in there.
There are videos of him playing with a three point line because he’s in the Nuggets arena.
Guys did not grow up with a three point line and unless you lived in an ABA City the players you watched in the pros didn’t shoot them either.
They didn’t come up peeking at the floor to make sure they were behind the line. Chris Mullin catches the ball open and he shoots it.
You would like to think that common sense would weigh in and people would not question their ability to shoot. Especially when Reggie is like a 90% free-throw shooter for his career and both Mullin and Chris Jackson shot like 94% from the free-throw line some years.....but no.
I’m still annoyed that someone I can’t remember on here was talking about how Chris Jackson wasn’t that good a shooter and giving me his outside shooting numbers to justify it as if he wasn’t taking two threes a game neither of them intended by the offense.....
It’s one of several issues with the basketball I came up watching that younger fans just have a hard time accepting.
Make Chris Mullin the starting three on the Rockets he would be taking 9 3s a game and leave no doubt of his greatness. Their defense would be worse but he will be so perfect for an offense like that. Such an amazing passer and a quick decision maker. A Paul Harden Mullin lineup? It would be a buffet. And Capela would get even more lobs than he does now. Mullin was maybe the best lob passer in the game for a while. At least for a forward....I forgot about Payton for a moment.
If I could bring a few of these old guys and drop them on fitting teams I could die happy. At least mostly happy. For full happiness I’d also have to figure out a way to show young fans that the NBA game looked exactly like it does now if you watched it live in the 80s.
With the shitty old footage that distorts color it just looks and feels like shit but sitting in the arena Dominique coming down the floor looks just like Kevin Durant does now but it’s hard to imagine when all you have seen is the footage and you never saw them in person. I don’t mean on TV at the time. I mean sitting in the arena. You just know that pisses off people from the 60s and 70s. Something about being in black-and-white just makes you seem less impressive....
Anyway to wrap up my point....shooters. They were great then....you just can’t tell by the numbers. And it sucks...because in the end? All anyone is to the next generation is his numbers and a two minute highlight reel. Maybe 5...but they cut it off at 2.
We really have to figure out time travel. As I understand it if we could move someone at light speed without the inertia killing them time would no longer pass for them and they could be held in stasis as the universe aged around them and brought out to simulate moving them forward in time..... but we don’t even have a good theory for how to go backwards. And what sucks is if somebody figured it out in the Future you just know they would have come back already to tell us about it.
Once we get warp drive we will be able to freeze someone in time so the future can enjoy them but that doesn’t get me Chris Mullin on the Rockets. Plus I don’t know how many NBA players would be willing to be frozen in time just to prove they could still be great in the future.....
A couple may. The really massive ego ones. But that isn’t Mullin. He was just a hard-working alcoholic with a crazy jumper. Which leads me to wonder who would be most likely to submit to time travel just to prove themselves to the future? Probably LeBron right? Isn’t he just douche enough to issue a press release about having accomplished all he came here to and wanting to take his talents to the future so they get a chance to appreciate him as well?
If anybody would consider it that’s who it would be. Kinda....got off track there...