Former Sacramento Kings guard Mitch Richmond joined elite company when he was formally inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame class of 2014 in Springfield, Mass., on Friday night. Known as “The Rock,” Richmond, along with Alonzo Mourning, former commissioner David Stern, Lithuanian star Sarunas Marciulionis and seven others took the stage to accept their honors.
“Off the court, I was very shy,” Richmond said. “But on the basketball court, that was a different story. I was confident, determined and I felt I could do nothing wrong.”
Taken with the fifth overall selection in the 1988 draft by the Golden State Warriors, Richmond would go on to win Rookie of the Year honors that first year. Teamed with Hall of Fame wing Chris Mullin and Hall of Fame finalist Tim Hardaway, the trio were known as “Run TMC” under coach Don Nelson. In their final season together, the group helped the Warriors average an incredible 116.6 points per game.
“We were a tight unit,” Richmond said of his experience at Golden State. “We did everything together. Coach Nelson was one of the most innovative coaches in NBA history and he put together quite a team.”
Before the 1991-92 season, Richmond was traded to Sacramento, along with Les Jepsen and a second-round pick, for Billy Owens.
“My new home was 82 miles north, but it seemed like a million miles away,” Richmond said of the trade. “It turned out to be a great seven-year run with the Kings. It’s the place where I played some of my best basketball and the Kings fans are simply the best.”
Richmond would go on to star for the Kings from 1991-1998, making six All-Star game appearances, including an All-Star game MVP award in 1995.
In May 1998, Richmond was packaged with veteran Otis Thorpe and traded to the Washington Wizards for Chris Webber. He would go on to play three seasons in Washington before joining the Los Angeles Lakers for their 2001-02 championship season and then retiring.
Over his 14-year career, Richmond averaged 21.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game over 976 regular season games. He won a gold medal for Team USA during the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta and a bronze during the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul, Korea. Richmond currently works in the Kings front office as the team’s Director of Pro Personnel.
Richmond is the first member of the Sacramento-era Kings to make the Hall of Fame, although Marciulionis, who is being enshrined for his contributions as an international player, played 53 games for the Kings during the 1995-96 season.