Yesterday I wrote about how two members of the Class of 2011 inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame had histories with alcohol addiction. Dennis Rodman, also known as “The Worm” has continued his hard partying ways and appears headed for an early date with the cemetery.
The second alcoholic in the Class of 2011 is a success story. Do you know him? He is Chris Mullin. The sharp-shooting lefty who graduated from St John’s University was a notorious beer drinker.
After a stellar collegiate career, Mullin was just a blip on the NBA radar his first two seasons as a member of the Golden State Warriors. When Don Nelson became head coach in Mullin’s fourth year, he had no idea how life-changing it would be. Under Nellie’s guidance Mullin had found a mentor who he trusted. Nelson saw how much beer Mullin was putting away and urged him to go to rehab.
One good stint in Centinella Hospital in Los Angeles, California and Mullin’s career and life took on new meaning. Sober Mullin went on to average more than 25 points per game and was one of the league’s most prolific shooters.
Mullin is a virtual poster-child for seeking alcohol rehabilitation in order to achieve your true potential. I am not one to say that athletes or other celebrities are role models, but Mullin’s sobriety did have an effect on me personally.