IC Cold Links: Chris Mullin's Hall of Fame Career Included Quality Time With Pacers

SPRINGFIELD, MA - AUGUST 12: Chris Mullin speaks during the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Symphony Hall on August 12, 2011 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Newly minted Hall of Famer, Chris Mullin had the bulk of his HOF moments in New York City and the Bay Area. But fortunately for those of us following the Indiana Pacers, he spent three quality years on some of the best Pacers teams as his career wound down.

He arrived for the 1997-98 season and started every game on what I believe was the best Pacers team in the NBA era of the franchise. That team was one half of Scottie Pippen's suffocating defense away from upsetting the Michael Jordan Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, and Mullin was in the mix for every game.

While Mullin didn't necessarily play like a Hall of Famer, he did provide a vital scoring threat that the Pacers needed to support Reggie Miller. Just having Mully on the court forced the defense to account for him, like a speedy wide receiver, he was always a deep threat to score. As Jalen Rose developed into that second threat with a more dynamic game, Mullin kept grinding away while taking on a smaller role in his final season that saw the Pacers reach the NBA Finals.

Mullin was on the downside of his career but he could still make plays while also showing every player in the locker room how to really put in work and prepare to be ready to play. During the 97-98 season he still had that stroke going and was incredible from the line, missing just ten of 164 free throw attempts all year. When it came to working out, even Reggie Miller was taken aback by the time he put in.

The NBA Finals this past season revealed that a team with veteran pros, staying prepared and focused on team goals is the only way to conquer extreme talent. Mullin brought that same type of impact to the Pacers in the three years he spent in Indy.

So in retrospect, I mispoke above. Chris Mullin had plenty of Hall of Fame moments in Indy, they just weren't always captured in the highlights.

After the jump, more links on the Hall of Fame ceremonies and NBA lockout including video of Mully's acceptance speech.

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