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Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings Fans Favorite

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Mitchell James Richmond III commonly known as just Mitch Richmond is an American former professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) league for four NBA teams including, Golden State Warriors who drafted him in the 1988 NBA draft, the Sacramento Kings where he played for seven years, Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Born on June 30, 1965, Richmond started his basketball career whilst in college. He played for the Moberly Area Community College Greyhounds before joining Kansas State Wildcats playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

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 another two-year spell at Moberly Community College.

Mitch Warriors

Mitch Richmond was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1988.
PHOTO: Courtesy

In his first season with the Golden State Warriors in the 1988/1989 season, Richmond averaged 22 points per game earning himself the Rookie of The Year Award at the end of his first season.

The same season, he also made it into the NBA All-Rookie first team. He played for the Warriors in three years managing 22 points or more per game in each of the three seasons between 1988 and 1991.

In 1991, Richmond was traded to the Sacramento Kings by the Warriors in exchange for Billy Owens. He was traded alongside Les Jespen.

Richmond ended up staying with the Sacramento Kings for a period of seven seasons between 1991 and 1998 becoming the lead scorer for the Kings in each of the seven seasons he played for them.

In his time with the Kings, Richmond earned himself the nickname “The Rock” by the Sacramento Kings fans for his exemplary performance in each of the seven seasons he played for them.

In 1995, Mitch was selected as an NBA All-Star and went on to secure the Most Valuable Player Honors, which was the first and the only time in the Franchise history of the Kings that a Sacramento Kings player has received the award.

Mitch Kings

Mitch Richmond was nicknamed ‘The Rock’ by Sacramento Kings fans.
PHOTO: Courtesy

In the summer of 1996, he was called up to the United States Men’s national basketball team to represent the country in the World Olympics played in Atlanta. He played an integral part as a regular starter to secure the Olympic Gold Medal.

Displaying his tremendous scoring ability throughout his Sacramento tenure, he averaged more than 20 points per game in each of his seven seasons and reached a pinnacle of just under 26 points per game during 1996-97. That season, he was named in the All-NBA Second Team.

His best season with the Kings came in the 1995/1996 season when he led the Sacramento Kings First Round Playoff series against the Seattle Supersonics. Coming into the playoffs as the number eight seed, the Kings pushed the Seattles to four games although they were eventually knocked out. Seattle went ahead to win the Western Conference finals.

This solid performance for the Kings made the team retired the number 2 jersey in honor of the man who made a smile on the face of its fans.

In 1998, Richmond was traded along with Otis Thorpe to the then Washington Bullets and now Washington Wizards for a power forward Chris Webber. He, however, had a poor first and second seasons with the Wizards and even ended up playing just half of the matches in the 2000/2001 season.

In 2001, the Wizards signed Richmond’s rival in shooting guard position, Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, and Richmond did not renew his contract at Washington.

He went ahead and signed as a free agent to the then champions Los Angeles Lakers where he played for only one season, the final year of his 14-year NBA career. By this time, Richmond had not yet won the NBA championship.

Mitch Lakers

Mitch Richmond (left) when he signed for LA Lakers in the 2000/2001 season.
PHOTO: Courtesy

Playing mostly off the bench, Mitch averaged just four points per game but went ahead and won the NBA championship with the Lakers for the first time in his career.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS

In his 14-year NBA career, Mitch Richmond bagged several awards. In 1988, his debut season in the NBA, he was named into the NBA All-Rookie team and won the Rookie of the year award.

Mitch is a six-time NBA All-star team player between 1993 and 1998. He is also a two-time All-NBA third time in 1996 and 1998 whilst playing for the Sacramento Kings.

He is a three-time All-NBA second team in 1994, 1995, and 1997. In 1995, he was awarded the Most Valuable Player in the NBA All-Star game.

He won the NBA title with Los Angeles Lakers in 2001.

In 2014, Mitch Richmond was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his stunning career in the NBA.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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