Feuding Mullin, Nellie Nominated For Hall of Fame Together

Warriors coach Don Nelson and his team executive vice president Chris Mullin ought to be busting out some of  Nelson's signature fine scotch and cigars in celebration Friday. After all, both  were nominated early Friday morning as finalists for the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame -- Nelson as the longtime coach, and Mullin as the peach-fuzzed Dream Teamer and Golden State Warrior of the late 80s and early 90s.

Don't expect them to be sharing any high-fives or Dewar's White Label. The two reportedly have not been on speaking terms for months.

How is it that the two who experienced such great success together in two separate incarnations with the Warriors -- remember, Mullin was the "M" in Run-TMC, and together they helped build the 2007 "We Believe" crew that toppled the top-seeded Mavericks -- are now so frosty and distant? The roots of the rift can be found in last summer's Baron Davis situation. Granted, these days we  blame everything on Baron Davis. But it is verifiable truth that Mullin had offered Baron a long-term $39 million deal that was somehow vetoed by Warriors ownership once word of this got to Nelson. It is also verifiable truth that Nelson benched Davis in his final game as a Warrior, a clear indication he was souring on the Dizzle.

Things have gotten more contentious between the two this season over the Anthony Randolph situation. Mullin adores the walk-on rookie overachiever, Nelson reportedly can't shut up about how much he wants to trade the kid.

Factor in also their respective contract situations -- Nelson was offered a 2-year extension the day this season started, Mullin was  offered not so much as an Andres Biedrins bobblehead. Mullin's contract expires this season. Perhaps Don Nelson is just clearing cap space so they sign Don Nelson as executive vice president.

Both Nellie and Mullie are iconic figures of their respective eras, and it would be lovely to see them make the Hall of Fame. But any plans for them to celebrate together will almost certainly be scotched.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is busting out scotch cigars anyway.

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