The best news can strike unexpectedly. For Golden State Warriors guard Mychal Mulder, it struck him while he was playing the card game “UNO” with his teammates at home.
In a sitdown with SportsByline, Mulder talked for a bit over 20 minutes about his new head coach Steve Kerr, how he got to this point in his basketball career, and how he got the call from the Golden State front office that they wanted to bring him up to the NBA.
Back on Feb. 25, Mulder and his G League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, managed to sneak out a narrow 100-99 win over the Austin Spurs thanks to a clutch made free-throw by Jarrett Jack with only one second left. Mulder played 32 minutes, but scored just 11 points and shot 2-10 from beyond the arc.
Back at home, Mulder and his teammates were settling down after an intense game. But none of them could have predicted who would give Mulder a call late that night. Here is how the former Kentucky guard explained it:
“We just got done playing a game maybe a couple hours before, and I had a couple of my teammates at the house,” Mulder said in his interview with SportsByline. “We were just hanging around playing “UNO”, normal decompression stuff like that. Just hanging out, talking about the game – it was close. Jarrett Jack actually game’d it for us, winning on a free throw.
“And we’re all just sitting there talking about that, and my phone rings from a number I didn’t recognize so I didn’t answer it. And then I got a text that was like, ‘Hey Mike. This is Kent (Lacob) from Golden State. Sorry to call you so late but it’s time-sensitive so give me a shout when you can.’ Obviously I picked my phone up immediately and called.
“He’s like, ‘I have some good news for you.’ And I just started smiling immediately because him calling my phone already is good news to me. There couldn’t have been any negative aspect to that. So then when he said they were ready to offer a 10-day (contract), that was something that was really satisfying for me – a moment that I had been waiting on since I turned pro.”
Mulder decided to stay in the United States after he went undrafted in 2017 instead of heading overseas. His choice led him on a long path, but one that ultimately led to him reaching his dream.
Before COVID-19 postponed the NBA season, Mulder had just received a multi-year contract after impressing during his initial 10-day deal. In seven total appearances for the Warriors that included three starts, Mulder averaged 11.0 points and 3.3 rebounds while playing over 29 minutes per game.
In the same interview, Mulder also explained his reasoning for coming to Kentucky and how it was a “business decision” that he would do again “10 times over”.
“When you sit down with Coach Cal and all those guys over there at Kentucky,” Mulder added. “I knew walking out of that visit that if I didn’t choose Kentucky I would be wondering about it my whole life. It would be the hardest decision and the hardest one to make it out of… But it was the best opportunity I could have had.”
If you have a chance, go check out the entire 21-minute interview. Mulder is often a forgotten player from the Calipari-era but his story is one of the most inspiring. He’s a legitimate NBA player now and a genuinely good person.