Blast to the past: A look back at the short, but fun Run TMC era

The Golden State Warriors have a history that’s steeped with players who’ve played basketball fast and fun.

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson quickly come to mind for today’s game, but Baron Davis, Monta Ellis and Jason Richardson are former players who regularly showcased their athleticism in an up-tempo style for Warriors fans.

Other than the Splash Brothers era, a time filled with high-octane offense, the Run TMC era is one of the most memorable periods in Warriors history. Tim Hardaway Sr., Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin only played together during the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons, but their brief stint as teammates was filled with up-tempo basketball.

For more on the Run TMC era, check out ESPN’s featured story on Hardaway, Richmond and Mullin.

1989-90: Run TMC’s first season together

During the 1989-90 season the Warriors went 37-45, going under .500 after making it as far as the Western Conference semifinals the season before.

In their first season together, Hardaway, Richmond and Mullin prospered, showing what they could do as a group. With Hardaway running the offense during his rookie year, he scored 14.1 points per game and shot 47.1% from the field.

He led the team in assists per game that season (8.7), and throughout his career with the franchise he displayed acute floor generalship; Hardaway is third all-time in assists for Warriors history (3,926).

A Hall of Famer, Richmond was playing his sophomore season during the 1989-90 campaign. He built on his rookie season, scoring 22.1 points per game and shooting 49.7% from the field. Richmond was the Warriors’ second-leading scorer in 1989-90, right behind Mullin.

Mullin scored 25.1 points per game, shooting 53.6% from the field and 37.2% from the 3-point line during his first season with Richmond and Hardaway.

A fellow Hall of Famer, Mullin had already played four seasons before Run TMC was formed. In each of his first four seasons, Mullin scored at least 14.0 points a game. He scored a career-high 26.5 points in 1988-89, his fourth season in the league. Mullin is fifth all-time in Warriors history for points (16,235) and 3-pointers (590).

Though Run TMC and the Warriors didn’t make the playoffs during the 1989-90 season, Golden State’s star trio showed what lied ahead, especially in terms of fast-paced play. According to Basketball Reference, the Warriors led the league in pace that season (105.9).

1990-91: Run TMC goes to the playoffs

Hardaway, Richmond and Mullin expanded on their collective success in their second season together, leading the Warriors to the playoffs.

The team was second in pace during the 1990-91 season, and they had a record of 44-38. Mullin, Richmond and Hardaway were the Warriors top three scorers, with Mullin leading the team in points (25.7).

Hardaway continued to improve, scoring 22.9 points per game and shooting 47.6% from the field in his sophomore season. Richmond also continued to be a scoring threat, averaging 23.9 points a game — that’s the second-highest average of his career.

The trio led the Warriors to a first-round win against the San Antonio Spurs, but then they ran into Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors lost 4-1 in the semifinals, only snagging Game 2 in a 125-124 win.

Johnson had a game-high 44 points, and Mullin scored a team-high 41 points for Golden State. The performance tied a playoff career-high Mullin set in 1989 during a matchup against the Utah Jazz.

End of Run TMC

As the Warriors came off their playoff appearance, Run TMC didn’t last much longer. Richmond was traded to the Sacramento Kings for the 1991-92 season.

With Richmond gone, Run TMC was done, and the Warriors only made the playoffs two other seasons during the 1990s; they didn’t make it past the first round either time. Richmond went on to play seven seasons with the Kings, and each of his six All-Star appearances came when he played for Sacramento.

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