H.O.F. Watch – Mitch Richmond

12.10.07 10 years ago 28 Comments

When we started this Hall of Fame Watch series, the idea was to look at active NBA stars and see who had the credentials necessary to reach basketball immortality. Naturally, the list of active players with arguable resumes can’t go on forever. Looking at the guys we haven’t covered yet, are any of them — Josh Howard, Antoine Walker, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, Michael Finley, Peja Stojakovic, etc. — really legit candidates? So starting today, we’re going in another direction: looking at the retired players who either haven’t been voted in or aren’t yet eligible for induction. Today’s candidate: Mitch Richmond.

MITCH RICHMOND (14 years, Warriors/Kings/Wizards/Lakers)
21.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.2 steals per game

Why: For a two- or three-year period in the mid-1990s, Mitch Richmond was one of the best on the planet … only no one knew it because he was in Sacramento playing on Lottery teams. This was also in the midst of a stretch where Richmond became one of only seven players in NBA history to average at least 21 points per game for his first 10 seasons, joining Kareem, Jordan, Wilt, Oscar, Shaq and Iverson. One of the game’s preeminent shooters (ranks 9th all-time in three-pointers made) and a slasher who made life hellish for anyone trying to guard him, Richmond was a star right away; ’80s babies will always have a soft spot for “Run TMC,” the Warriors’ trio Richmond formed with Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway the season after he won Rookie of the Year in ’89. After he was traded to the Kings, Richmond began a string where he was named to six straight All-Star teams, winning All-Star Game MVP in ’95 and making five All-NBA teams. He also won an Olympic gold medal in ’96.

Why not: Before hooking up with the ’02 championship Lakers at the tail-end of his career, Richmond never enjoyed much playoff success. As entertaining as the Run TMC squads were in Golden State, they never made much noise in the postseason. Mitch’s stints with the Kings and Wizards were similarly quiet when it came to playing on the game’s biggest stage; in 14 years in the League, “Rock” only made four playoff appearances. Even when he won that championship in L.A., he rarely played, averaging 11 minutes per game in the regular season and only getting into two games during the Lakers’ playoff run.

Our call: OUT

The H.O.F. Watch archive
12/7 – Rasheed Wallace
12/6 – Michael Redd
12/5 – “Too Early”
12/3 – Bruce Bowen
11/30 – Dikembe Mutombo
11/29 – Ron Artest
11/28 – Pau Gasol
11/27 – Kevin Garnett
11/26 – Manu Ginobili
11/21 – Amare Stoudemire
11/20 – Rip Hamilton
11/19 – Baron Davis
11/16 – Shaquille O’Neal
11/15 – Steve Francis
11/14 – Ben Wallace
11/13 – Sam Cassell
11/12 – LeBron James
11/9 – Tim Duncan
11/8 – Steve Nash
11/7 – Yao Ming
11/6 – Gilbert Arenas
11/5 – Robert Horry
11/2 – Kobe Bryant
11/1 – Grant Hill
10/31 – Dirk Nowitzki
10/30 – Tony Parker
10/29 – Elton Brand
10/26 – Carmelo Anthony
10/25 – Vince Carter
10/24 – Penny Hardaway
10/23 – Alonzo Mourning
10/22 – Allen Iverson
10/19 – Dwyane Wade
10/18 – Chauncey Billups
10/17 – Stephon Marbury
10/16 – Jason Kidd
10/15 – Shawn Marion
10/12 – Ray Allen
10/11 – Chris Bosh
10/10 – Chris Webber
10/9 – Paul Pierce
10/5 – Jermaine O’Neal
10/4 – Gary Payton
10/3 – Tracy McGrady

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