Yes, it's painful to deem his stint as a failure, primarily because his sharp-shooting skills as a player made him a Bay Area treasure.
But Mullin's job the past five years, as executive vice president of basketball operations, was not a success story. The Warriors remain an irrelevant franchise among the NBA's landscape. Their 2007 playoff run gave us false hope that Mullin had this franchise on the brink of Western Conference superiority.
The hard truth is this: The Warriors still haven't had an All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997, and they've won only one playoff series since 1991. They've relied as much - if not, more -- on Development League callups than their own draft picks.
True, Mullin wasn't as much as a failure as some of his front-office predecessors. But it's certainly not a crushing blow to end his tenure.
True, the Warriors are a mess through various factors beyond Mullin's control. But it's not as if things were guaranteed to rebound glamorously if he stayed.
True, he made some outstanding moves to get the Warriors back to the playoffs in 2007, such as convincing owner Chris Cohan to bring back Don Nelson as coach and trading for pivotal players such as Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson.
But those players came from franchises desperate to rid themselves of those former malcontents, and the Warriors have sure crashed fast from that 2007 playoff run.
True, he drafted some gems in Andris Biedrins (first round, 2004), Monta Ellis (second round, 2005) and Anthony Randolph (first round, 2008). But he also pulled the trigger on Ike Diogu and Patrick O'Bryant with the ninth overall pick in the 2005 and 2006 drafts, respectively.
Try to keep the personal feelings aside when rating Mullin's job performance. It's hard to do. He's a nice guy who couldn't bail out the forever sinking ship known as the Warriors.
Larry Riley, his successor, will be hard-pressed to do a better job than Mullin, considering the franchise's floundering state. But Riley is extremely tight with Nelson, whom the Warriors basically are putting all their faith in for yet another turnaround.
Mullin's supporters will blame his failures on his supporting cast, such as Cohan and president Robert Rowell. Well, they're the ones who get to make the call on Mullin's fate, which seemed sealed the second Rowell announced that Mullin didn't agree with Ellis' 30-game suspension.
Mullin's legacy as a player lives on, even if the franchise stubbornly refuses to retire his No. 17 and recognize him for what he was - one of the five best players in Golden State Warriors history.
The time has come, however, to ship him out of the front office and move on without him, even if that's to further irrelevancy.
Look for Cam Inman's Web-only "Candid Cam" takes whenever there's a breaking sports story, or whenever Cam's got something to say _ in short, just about every day. You can reach Cam at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CamInman.