Mitch Richmond is a 13-year NBA
veteran. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard
, Richmond was drafted with the fifth pick of the 1988 NBA
Draft, by the Golden State Warriors
Richmond had been a collegiate star at Kansas State University, and immediately stepped into a starring role with the Warriors. Richmond was the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year, averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Warriors of the early 1990's were one of the most exciting NBA teams of all time, running a high-powered offense that was known as "Run-TMC". TMC stood for Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, and the "Run" referred to the constantly fast breaking offense. The Warriors were not particularly successful in the postseason, and after the 1991 season, Run-TMC was broken up when Richmond was shipped to the Sacramento Kings for rookie forward Billy Owens. Owens turned out to be a bust in Golden State, and Richmond became the franchise player for the hapless, basement-dwelling Kings.
Richmond, as a King, posted remarkably consistent offensive numbers. In his best season, 1997, Richmond averaged 25.9 points per game, but never averaged below 21 points in seven seasons in Sacramento. Richmond was selected to the Western Conference All-Star Team six times in those seven seasons, and was also a member of the Olympic championship team in 1996.
Ironically, Richmond helped the Kings' franchise more by the way in which he left Sacramento than by anything he ever did on the court. In the 1998 offseason, the Washington Wizards were looking to trade their talented but troubled young forward, Chris Webber. The Kings obtained Webber for Mitch Richmond and veteran forward Otis Thorpe. Webber turned his career around in Sacramento, and instantly transformed the team into a serious playoff contender.
Meanwhile, in Washington, an aging Mitch Richmond struggled badly. In 1999, he shot a career-low 41 percent, while failing to average 20 ppg for the first time in his career. Beset by injuries, his numbers continued to decline. In 2001, Richmond averaged only 16 ppg and missed more than half the season with a knee injury. In the offseason, the Wizards declined to pick up the option on his contract, and he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he is currently buried on the bench. Playing around 10 minutes a night, no one knows for sure if Richmond has any gas left in his tank.
The Scouting Report:
Richmond has always been a talented scorer. He's lethal from long range, and with mid-range pull-ups from either baseline. He has lost alot of his quickness, but for most of his career was able to blow by defenders and attack the rim. He is an excellent free throw shooter, and knows how to draw a foul. Richmond was an above-average rebounder and passer, though since leaving Sacramento has been a much more one-dimensional player. His defense is also above average. It is difficult to gauge the success of Richmond's career, as most of it has been spent starring in obscurity for losing teams.