Chris Mullin gestures while speaking to members of the media...

Chris Mullin gestures while speaking to members of the media during a news conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. (Aug. 11, 2011) Credit: AP

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. -- Wherever Chris Mullin has played basketball, from Brooklyn to Barcelona, he has been surrounded by greatness.

Now Mullin is being recognized for his own greatness.

Mullin, the 6-7 lefty with the soft shooting touch who became a New York City legend at Xaverian in Brooklyn and then at St. John's in Queens, will be inducted Friday night with Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2011.

Mullin was also inducted last summer as a member of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team that won gold in Barcelona. Mullin was the best outside shooter on the Dream Team and called that experience the highlight of his basketball career.

"Just because of who I was surrounded by. The greatness," Mullin said Thursday at the Basketball Hall of Fame where he and the nine other new inductees had a media session. "And the fact it was the first time NBA players were participating in the Olympics. We talked about setting a standard."

The Dream Team featured, among others, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley. No wonder Mullin recalled, "I probably shouldn't have missed a shot. That's how open I was."

Mullin, who also won Olympic gold as an amateur on the 1984 team, first earned national recognition at St. John's, where his myriad skills and gym-rat zeal were on display for four years (1982-85) under coach Lou Carnesecca, who will be his presenter at Friday night's ceremony.

"So many incredible memories," he said. "The Big East was just coming of age. Playing against Pearl Washington [Syracuse] and Eddie Pinckney [Villanova] from the city. The rivalries. Every game with Georgetown was an event -- like a heavyweight fight. And for a kid from Brooklyn to play at sold-out Madison Square Garden as your home court, that's pretty special."

Mullin was selected seventh overall by the Golden State Warriors in 1985. His first two professional seasons were good, not great. Alcoholism was his deep, dark secret until 1987, his third NBA season.

"The drinking I think of as separate from my basketball career. But in some respects they intertwined because when I got my life together my NBA career took off -- not coincidentally," Mullin said. "I don't know if it makes this any sweeter, but it's part of the journey. Every player has his journey. At some point in everyone's life, you're going to deal with something."

Mullin's drinking problem stunted his NBA growth as he gained weight and lost stature with the Warriors until team officials intervened in 1987.

"I was fortunate enough at that point in my life it wasn't anything I did, it was by the grace of God I was able to surrender," he said. "I learned to live my life one day at a time and just learn how to walk through my day at a slower pace. Keep my priorities in line, make better decisions, change my behavior. With those small changes over time, there have been some big changes. To me, the way I live my life on a daily basis is as gratifying to me as being here in the Hall of Fame. If I never did that, never mind the Hall of Fame. I wouldn't be here, period."

Mullin had special times in the NBA, too. As a point forward, he joined point guard Tim Hardaway and shooting guard Mitch Redmond with the Warriors to form what became known as Run TMC. Mullin averaged more than 25 points a game for five straight All-Star seasons, the pinnacle of a 16-year NBA career.

"It's about timing. I got my life in order and these guys come around," Mullin said of Hardaway and Richmond, who became lifelong friends and will be in the audience for Friday night's induction ceremony along with St. John's buddies Mark Jackson, Walter Berry and Bill Wennington. "They made it easy for me."

Mullin, who just turned 48, still lives in California's Bay Area. He is an NBA analyst for ESPN, hoping the lockout ends so he'll be employed. He acknowledged he would consider an NBA general manager's job in the future, but wouldn't specify a team. "Right fit, right people," he said. "That's when all my success came, when I was surrounded by good people with similar goals."

Asked if he considered the Knicks the missing piece of his basketball resume, Mullin said, "No. It's not in my mind right now. I'll be back with ESPN. That's my immediate future."

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