Nicknamed “The Rock,” Mitch Richmond was solid from the get-go of his NBA career – winning NBA Rookie of the Year honors as a member of the Warriors in 1995. He had been the fifth-overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft following two years at Kansas State. He joined Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway in Golden State to form the famous “Run TMC” (Tim, Mitch, and Chris) trio, which led the team to the Playoffs.
After three seasons, Richmond was traded to Sacramento where he would spend the prime of his playing career. The consistent, reliable shooting guard gave the Capital City its first superstar.
He was selected as an All-Star in 1995 and went on to secure MVP honors – the first and only time a Kings player has earned the award.
In the summer of 1996, Richmond helped guide Team USA to Olympic gold in Atlanta – a young Richmond had previously won bronze with Team USA at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
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.
Nevertheless, arguably Richmond’s finest season was the 1995-96 campaign, as he led Sacramento to a First Round Playoff series against the Seattle SuperSonics. As the No. 8 seed, the Kings pushed the eventual Western Conference Champions to four games. In the Kings lone series victory – also the team’s first-ever postseason win in the Sacramento-era– No. 2 quieted the Sonics in Seattle with 37 points in Game 2.
In 1998, Richmond was traded along with Otis Thorpe to the then Washington Bullets for power forward Chris Webber. By 2001, the former Kings guard had moved on to the L.A. Lakers where he eventually capped a brilliant career by winning an NBA Championship.
His career and legacy is now commemorated in the rafters of Sleep Train Arena. High above the hardwood, hangs the No. 2 jersey of an Olympian, All-Star, MVP, Champion and Sacramento legend.