There are many NBA players who praise Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time. Very few get the privilege to be in MJ’s appreciation list. But still he never spared anyone on the court.
Mitch Richmond is one of those players. He came into the league in 1988 as a 5th pick by the Golden State Warriors. The 6’5 shooting guard made an early impact. In his first season, he averaged 22 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4 assists and grabbed the Rookie of the Year award.
He is majorly known for his time with the Sacramento Kings when the Warriors traded him even without his knowledge. Being mad about the trade, he didn’t comb his hair one straight year but never stopped performing on the basketball court.
Richmond instantly became one of the hottest scoring guards in the league. An underrated defender throughout his career he consistently scored over 22 points a game for nine more seasons. And so he made Michael Jordan one of his admirers.
Mitch Richmond recalls prepping to face Michael Jordan
Recently the 6-time All-Star joined former NFL stars Terrell Owens and Matthew Hatchettein in their podcast “Getcha Popcorn Ready” on fubo Sports Network. They talked about the Kings Hall Famer’s time in the NBA, where he even had the respect of Michael Jordan after their hard fought battles.
Their rivalry, the back and forth exchange of baskets was one of the most entertaining Kings basketball ever. Richmond opened up about how hard it was to prepare to face the 6-time NBA Champion.
“ He was cat quick!! So, you know, you had to do a lot of freaking film work on him because he had every move. And he can get by you with one step, once he get by you, he has taken flight. So I think football helped me with that because I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t scared physically. And one thing I had to be I had, I had to be physical with him.” said Mitch.
“You still got his 30. I had to get physical with him and I got 30,” adding to it he continued, “You know, you have some guys saying man is too tired to play defense. But the whole idea is to stop the other guy, stop the other guy and trying to stop him and make him work. And if you didn’t make Michael work, he was gonna embarrass you.”
While Richmond made 5 All-NBA selections during his time in Sacramento, his team was never a playoff team. NBA at the time had a lot of great teams. But Michael Jordan dominated everyone.
Playing in that era, Mitch came up against the likes of Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Karl Malone, and many more generational talents, but he always made sure to leave an impact on every game he played.