In the late 1980s, the Bay Area was a thriving sports scene. The San Francisco 49ers won back-to-back Super Bowls and the Oakland Athletics appeared in three consecutive World Series, winning one.
The 49ers had the market cornered on dominance, and the Athletics were putting on daily displays of power hitting and pitching perfection, but the market on cool for sports in the area was cornered by the Golden State Warriors.
Led by the high-scoring Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin, nicknamed Run TMC in a reference to the rappers Run DMC, the Warriors set the basketball world on fire for two seasons.
Last week, the finalists for induction in the Hall of Fame were announced, with Richmond and Hardaway on the list of players who could join Mullin in receiving basketball's highest honor. Although it is unlikely that both Hardaway and Richmond will be enshrined this time around, the enduring nature of those Warriors teams is remarkable, given the short time they played together.
Mullin was the biggest star of the group, riding a spot on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, a sterling college career at St. John's and a prime in which he averaged more than 25 points a game in five consecutive seasons to the Hall in 2011. But his teammates are not exactly long shots. According to the statistic Hall of Fame Probability, calculated by Basketball-Reference.com using a complicated formula of statistics, position and player size, Richmond has a 65.8 percent chance of election, the fifth-highest total among eligible players not yet elected (the highest-ranked eligible player is Oakland native Gary Payton, also a finalist this year). Hardaway is not far behind Richmond at 56.2 percent.
More impressive than their individual accomplishments has been the lasting power of the group. To this day, you can buy Run TMC T-shirts online, basketball bloggers too young to have seen them play write glowing tributes, and YouTube is filled with highlight clips.