Chris Mullin returns to his New York City roots, this time as SJU Coach

Chris Mullin accepted St. John's offer to be their next head coach. He hopes to build on the turnaround created by former head coach Steve Lavin.

Chris Mullin accepted St. John’s offer to be their next head coach. He hopes to build on the turnaround created by former head coach Steve Lavin.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Wednesday, April 1, 2015,  less than one week after declining to extend the contract of basketball coach Steve Lavin,  St. John’s University introduced their most respected former player, Chris Mullin, as their next head coach. The Red Storm  improved under former head coach Steve Lavin and the school hopes to take that success even further with the Mullin. The St. John’s alum was hired 30 years to the day he led the school to the final four of the NCAA tournament in 1985.

Retired St John's Coach Lou Carnesecca holds up jersey with Chris Mullin's number as Mullins is introduced as the new basketball coach at his alma mater.

Retired St John’s Coach Lou Carnesecca holds up jersey with Chris Mullin’s number as Mullins is introduced as the new basketball coach at his alma mater.

“It’s great to be home,” said Mullin after he was introduced in his new job. “I still think that St John’s needs to be first and foremost a New York City Team. We need to make our campus proud, our alumni proud and the whole city of New York proud of St. John’s University.” When he was asked about his lack of coaching skills Mullin had a quick response. “My resume as a player is separate from my career in coaching, starting now. I don’t think that one will tarnish the other and hopefully it will promote and improve it and make it better.”

Thrilled former St. John’s Coach Lou Carnesecca, who coached Mullin during St John’s basketball heyday, could not contain his excitement. “There’s a buzz in New York,” he said. “It’s clear, people are happy about it and it’s St. John’s University.”

St. John's  hopes Mullin has the same success as a first time head coach as former teammate Mark Jackson.

St. John’s hopes Mullin has the same success as a first time head coach as former teammate Mark Jackson.

Mullin has been working as an executive in the NBA for the last few seasons, as a general manager and an advisor. A lack of head coaching experience has been highlighted as a potential hurdle for Mullin as he hopes to show that his basketball prowess will translate to the bench. St. John’s is hoping that Mullin will have as much success as a first time coach as fellow alum Mark Jackson did with the Golden State Warriors.

Keeping New York City area talent like Kemba Walker (l) and Lance Stephenson (r) will be top priority  for St. John's new head coach.

Keeping New York City area talent like Kemba Walker (l) and Lance Stephenson (r) will be top priority for St. John’s new head coach.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Mullin is on the recruiting trail. Mullin is a Hall of Fame basketball player with deep New York City roots but he is not a high-profile personality. Mullin will have to do a much better job retaining New York City area NBA talent. There may not be as many New York City area players making it to the NBA at this time, but St. John’s needs to be able to land them if the program is to be restored to it highest achievement point of the mid 1980’s, which was the message Mullin delivered at his energetic introductory press conference.–OnPointPress.net

Breaking: St. John’s fires Steve Lavin after a five-year run, eyes Chris Mullin

Steve Lavin is out as head coach of the St. John's Red Storm after 5 seasons.

Steve Lavin is out as head coach of the St. John’s Red Storm after 5 seasons.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Five seasons after hiring Steve Lavin to turn the team around, St. John’s University fired the head coach and immediately began to seek his replacement from its storied alumni body.

“Coach Lavin returned high expectations to our men’s basketball program and represented St. John’s in a positive way,” St. John’s athletic director Chris Monasch said in a statement Friday. “We appreciate his commitment to the program and to our student-athletes over the past five years.”

Chris Mullin is at the top of St. John's wish list as a replacement for Steve Lavin as head coach.

Chris Mullin is at the top of St. John’s wish list as a replacement for Steve Lavin as head coach.

St. John’s will look to quickly replace Lavin and Chris Mullin is one person that is highly sought after by the university. Mullin, who attended St. John’s between 1981 – 1985 is currently an advisor for the Sacramento Kings. Stay tuned for more information on the future of St. John’s basketball program.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact 646-309-1938.

Former Knick, NBA star, Anthony Mason, remembered fondly in death

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

Anthony Mason passed away early Saturday morning at the age of 48.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Saturday morning February 28, word spread about the passing of former NBA player Anthony Mason, weeks after he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent several surgeries. During his NBA career, Mason, 48, connected with fans, teammates, and competitors alike using a blend of power and agility in a stout 6’7 ‘ frame.

The versatile and rugged forward made his name as part of the New York Knicks in a career that spanned 13 years, starting in 1993. During his five seasons with the Knicks, Mason played alongside Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley and Derek Harper, making it all the way to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Mason (r) would play a vital role in helping Patrick Ewing (l) lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.

Former Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing, who is an assistant head coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, shared a statement on Saturday, reflecting on the feeling of sadness he feels as he mourns the death of his former teammate. Ewing said:
image

Mason attended high school in Queens, New York so it was fitting that the Knicks would provide him with the opportunity to become a star. Pat Riley was the head coach of the Knicks at the time and would later sign Mason with the Miami Heat where Mason made his only All-Star appearance in 2001. Riley’s statement on Mason’s death was profound:

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

Mason would have his best individual season in 2001 for the Miami Heat, being named an All-Star that season.

“News like this is not only sad, but it’s tragic. Anthony Mason was a very young man with a great family and friends. To lose him so quickly during his journey, especially to those of us that knew him, hurts. We had a great season in Miami experiencing Anthony as an All-Star with the HEAT, and I also had the privilege of coaching him for four years in New York, where he helped take us to the brink of a championship. There were so many great moments that we shared that I will never forget. Our prayers and sympathies are with his family. May God bless his soul,” Riley said.

The NBA honored Mason’s death and the Knicks held a moment of silence at Madison Square Garden before their game against the Raptors. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement outlining Mason’s character and passion for the game:

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

Mason will also be remembered for his unique haircuts.

“Anthony Mason exemplified perseverance for all players fighting for their chance in the NBA. With a gritty style of play and a distinctive skill set, he blossomed from a third round draft pick into a Sixth Man Award winner, All-NBA selection and, at age 34, an All-Star. NBA fans and players around the league admired the tenacity on defense and playmaking on offense. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Mason family during this difficult time,” Silver’s statement read.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced as the Mason family mourns. Mason’s sons, Antoine and Anthony Mason, Jr., both played basketball in college. Mason, Jr. played at St. John’s University in 2010 while Antoine is currently enrolled at Auburn University. Mason, Jr. released a statement on behalf of the family which read:
“First, I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciated it.

Mason's sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father's footsteps as basketball players in their  own rights.

Mason’s sons Anthony Mason, Jr. (l) and Antoine Mason (r) have followed in their father’s footsteps as basketball players in their own rights.

“Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother..but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect our father — Big Mase — put up an incredible fight dealing with a severe heart issues. I’m wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we’ve got to let you know we love you and know you’ll always be with us.

“I ask at this time that you respect our family’s privacy with regard to questions as our family takes the time to mourn.”

Peace and blessings go out to the Mason family, friends and legion of fans who remember Mason’s hard work and fierce style of play that made him a joy to watch on the court..–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.