Mitch Richmond

 

Mitchell James Richmond (born June 30, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player and current assistant coach of the St. John’s Red Storm. He played collegiately at Moberly Area Community College and Kansas State University. He was a six-time NBA All-Star a five-time All-NBA Team member and a former NBA Rookie of the Year. In 976 NBA games, Richmond averaged 21.0 points per game and 3.5 assists per game. Richmond was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.  His nicknames include “The Rock”. His jersey No. 2 was retired in his honor by the Sacramento Kings, for whom he played seven seasons. He was on the cover of the video game NBA Live 97.

Richmond was drafted 5th overall in the 1988 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors, following two years at Kansas State, where he averaged 20 points per game, and two years at Moberly Area Community College.

Richmond captured the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in the 1988–89 season, after averaging 22 points per game for the Warriors. He was a key part of Don Nelson’s fast-paced offense, focusing on Richmond and teammates Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin which was dubbed “Run TMC” (the initials of the players’ first names and a play on the name of the popular rap group Run DMC).

After three years of scoring 22+ points a game in Golden State, Richmond, on November 1, 1991, was traded (along with Les Jepsen) to the Sacramento Kings during the 1991–92 season in exchange for the rights to Billy Owens, and became arguably the team’s first star since the franchise moved to Sacramento in 1985. Staying with the Kings until 1998, Richmond was the team’s leading scorer in each of his 7 seasons there, averaging no fewer than 21.9 points a game each season. Between 1993 and 1998, Richmond was a fixture on the Western Conference’s All-Star team, and he won MVP honors at the All-Star Game in Phoenix, in 1995.

Richmond was traded by the Kings, along with Otis Thorpe, to the Washington Wizards for Chris Webber in May 1998, a move that keyed the Kings’ transformation from perennial doormat to an elite title contender. However, things did not work out as well for Richmond. In three years with the Wizards, he lost a lot of the shooting touch he displayed as a King, and his days as a regular were numbered after missing half of the 2000–01 season.

Richmond signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he played the final year of his career. Playing strictly off the bench, he averaged 4 points a game. He earned an NBA championship ring with the Lakers in 2002 but played sparingly in the postseason, logging 4 minutes overall. In game 4 of the finals, Richmond dribbled out the clock to win the title with the Lakers.

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Career highlights and awards
NBA champion (2002)
6× NBA All-Star (1993–1998)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (1995)
3× All-NBA Second Team (1994, 1995, 1997)
2× All-NBA Third Team (1996, 1998)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1989)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1989)
No. 2 retired by Sacramento Kings
Consensus second-team All-American (1988)
No. 23 retired by Kansas State
Career statistics
Points 20,497 (21.0 ppg)
Rebounds 3,801 (3.9 rpg)
Assists 3,398 (3.5 apg)

Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta Team competition
Bronze medal – third place 1988 Seoul Team competition
Universiade
Silver medal – second place 1987 Zagreb Team competition

 

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