Chris Mullin’s Replacement: I’m no Puppet

by May 13, 2009

The new GM in Oakland would like to make one thing clear: “Larry Riley is not a puppet. That was the overriding message in the news conference to introduce Riley as the Warriors’ new general manager Tuesday. Sure, he is a close confidant of Coach Don Nelson, who is presumed to be the real string-puller in the basketball operations. No doubt he was picked to replace Chris Mullin by team president Robert Rowell, whom many believe to be the organization’s puppet master. Yet Riley stared down the local media gathered at Oracle Arena to proclaim his independence. ‘That’s already out there. We were joined at the hip when we came out here,’ Riley said of his relationship with Nelson. “Does Nellie dictate my life? No. Is he a good friend? Yes. Do I listen to him? Yes. If I have to make a counter-decision, I’ll make it.'”