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Chris Mullin hints at return to the NBA

After winning a fishing tournament with the T.J. Martell Foundation for cancer research, the former St. John's coach -- who lost his brother to cancer earlier this year -- says his next job probably will be in the NBA.

Head coach Chris Mullin of the St. John's

Head coach Chris Mullin of the St. John's Red Storm reacts to the referee against the DePaul Blue Demons at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, New York on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019. Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

It might not have been the place that you’d expect Chris Mullin to get his next victory at after parting ways with St. John’s, but the New York native reeled in the biggest fish at the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Second Annual New York Classic Fishing Tournament.

“Of course, I belong to the Flatbush Avenue Fishing Club,” Mullin joked.  “I’m sure where you parked had a lot to do with it and a lot of luck, but I reeled it in. My assistant was Sam Perkins, another Brooklyn boy.”

The catch may have been unexpected, but that Mullin surfaced at the fundraiser for the cancer research organization was not. Mullin, who lost his brother to cancer earlier this year, was happy to do whatever he could to help the foundation.

“Obviously cancer has affected my life, mostly everyone in the world in some level,” he said. “So anytime I can help out it’s a small token of appreciation and support really. One thing that we can do for each other is support each other. At one point or another we all go through trials and tribulations, so giving your time is one way to help.”

Mullin left St. John’s, where he starred as a player and has considered family, after four seasons as head coach. The Red Storm made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his tenure this season, but citing the death of his brother, Roddy, he stepped down after the season. 

“I feel great. I felt pretty good straight through,” Mullin said. “Just decisions had to be made in my life. I feel good about the four years I coached at St. John’s. It’s a special place to me. My kids go there. I met my wife there. So way beyond my four years playing there, my four years coaching, relationships - first and foremost with coach (Lou) Carnesecca, that’s how I became part of St. John’s. I met him when I was 10. He was my college coach, but way more than that. Things are well, life is good. Healthy, happy, and just kind of moving forward.”

Mullin is uncertain what the future holds, but hinted that he would like to return to the NBA, where he spent five years as an executive in the front office with the Golden State Warriors, then worked with the Sacramento Kings as an advisor and even did some broadcast work.

“I’m not 100 percent sure what direction I’m going to go, but having all those different experiences I think will help moving forward,” Mullin said. “One thing I’ve always focused on is who is around me, who I’m with, so that’ll become clear in due time.

“I spent my whole adult life with the NBA so that’s more natural for me. Over time, the game maybe became a little closer because of the age of the players. There’s an overlap there. I’ve always found myself watching the NBA game more, even when I was coaching college. So I’ll probably gravitate toward doing something in the NBA.”

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