As Randy Moss might put it, something “fishy” is going on in the Warriors’ front office, specifically with the relationship between executive vice president Chris Mullin and his bosses, team president Robert Rowell and owner Chris Cohan.
Mullin is in the final year of his contract. He’s a lame duck. But there have been no discussions about a contract extension and no talks have been scheduled.
Fishy? Yeah, I think smell some bad salmon.
When Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury asked Rowell if Mullin had done a good job, he said: “I think he’s done a lot of things for us over the last several years that have helped the organization, yeah.”
Boy, that’s a ringing endorsement. Praise of the highest order.
Get a whiff of that rotting carp.
That alone is enough to make you think Mullin is on his way out after this season. But there’s also this red flag: Cohan and Rowell reportedly vetoed a tentative three-year, $39 contract extension that Mullin had reached with point guard Baron Davis.
Davis would have been locked up with the Warriors though the 2011-12 season. Instead, he opted out of his contract and signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. No big deal, you say? I guess not if you think it’s no big deal for the Warriors to lose their best player, someone that coach Don Nelson and captain Stephen Jackson said is “impossible” to replace.
Not only is Mullin a lame duck. But now higher ups in the organization with zero NBA player-personnel knowledge are questioning his judgment and nixing his plans.
Week-old tuna, anyone?
Want more? OK, how about the whole Monta Ellis moped-gate affair. Rowell and Cohan suspended Ellis 30 games for violating his contract by riding a moped when he suffered a serious ankle injury. Ellis will lose about $3 million.
Here’s the rub. During a news conference, Rowell ripped Mullin for not taking Ellis’ transgressions seriously enough.
Rowell said that “Chris Mullin made it perfectly clear to both Mr. Cohan and myself that he didn’t think this was a big deal at the beginning. And we happen to think it’s a very big deal.
“We happen to think that it’s a big deal for our fans, it’s a big deal for our season ticket-holders, it’s a big deal for our business partners, it’s a big deal for the Warriors organization.”
Ouch. That had to hurt. Of course neither Rowell nor Cohan have Mullin’s perspective as a former player who made mistakes but used them as the catalyst to become a star. Mullin credits Nelson, his former coach, with saving his life by making him get help for an alcohol problem.
No doubt Mullin felt Ellis had suffered plenty with his injury, surgery and public humiliation. He no doubt figured Ellis had learned his lesson without a $3 million hit and that the best course of action for the organization would be to support him and encourage him to become more serious about his profession and the way he takes care of his body. That’s exactly what Mullin did after going through rehab.
So yeah, there appears to be a serious disconnect between Mullin and his bosses. When it comes to the way the Warriors have dealt with Baron and Monta, I think they should have listened to Mullin.
Very fishy, indeed.
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