Mitchell James Richmond
June 30, 1965 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Boyd Anderson (Fort Lauderdale)
Moberly Junior College (1985-1986), Kansas State (1987-1988)
GSW, 1st round, 5th overall, 1988 NBA Draft
6-5 ; Weight
G - 976
FG% - .455
3PFG% - .388
FT% - .850
Points - 20,497
PPG - 21.0
Rebounds - 3,801
RPG - 3.9
Assists - 3,398
APG - 3.5
Blocks - 254
BPG - 0.3
Steals - 1,211
SPG - 1.2
6 x NBA All-Star, 2002 NBA Champion, All-Star Game MVP (1995), NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 3 x All-NBA Second Team, 2 x All-NBA Third Team, Olympic Gold Medalist (1996), Olympic Bronze Medalist (1988), Second Team All-American.
High School and College
Richmond's hometown pals called him Smooth, but his road to the NBA was rocky. His attended three different high schools in the Ft. Lauderdale area. After failing an algebra course during his senior year, he almost didn't graduate. Realizing that his basketball future was at stake--and at the not-very-subtle urging of his mother, Ernell--Richmond attended summer school and managed to earn his high school diploma. Richmond's next stop was Moberly Area Junior College in central Missouri. Despite intense homesickness, Richmond averaged 13.1 points per game and led the Greyhounds to a two-year record of 69 wins and 9 losses. While he was a student at Moberly, Richmond became close friends with coach Dana Altman, who advised him to beef up both his body and his academic skills. Following Altman's advice, Richmond worked hard in both the weight room and the classroom. On the court, he perfected his outside shooting and rebounding skills. Richmond's grades eventually improved enough for him to secure a transfer to Kansas State University.
At Kansas State, Richmond's game blossomed offensively. As Hank Hersch of Sports Illustrated remarked, "Richmond received the ball and orders to create an offense with it." Playing shooting guard instead of the forward position he had played earlier in his career, Richmond averaged 20.7 points per game. He was at his best at NCAA tournament time, averaging 26.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game over two seasons. In his senior season, Kansas State advanced to the Final Eight in the NCAA tournament and Richmond broke the school's single- season scoring record. He was also named a Second-Team All-American, and won a bronze medal as a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team. To the delight of his mother, Richmond graduated from Kansas State with a B.A. in social science.
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 Junior College in Missouri.
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, which was dubbed "Run TMC" after the first names of its three main components, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin, respectively. The trio were named after the influential rap group Run DMC. In addition to the shooting he provided, he complemented Hardaway's passing and fast break skills and Mullin's shooting skills by slashing to the hoop as part of the Warriors' attack.
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 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. In the middle of his prime, Richmond was selected to the United States' Olympic team (Dream Team III), earning a gold medal in Atlanta. During his prime, Richmond was recognized as one of basketball's all time best pure shooters.
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 ended his career traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. 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.
Before coming to the NBA, he played for the U.S. men's national basketball team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, winning the bronze medal. He became a member of the basketball team again at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, U.S. and won the gold medal with 11 other NBA players (including David Robinson, who was also on the USA men's national basketball team in 1988).