Sometimes, players are traded to franchises and cities that they did not want to be a part of. Not every trade ends up with the player being able to go where they want, and teams often pick the best deal available for a given player.
It seems as though that was the case for Mitch Richmond, who was once traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Sacramento Kings. In a past article by Dan Feldman, some comments from Richmond revealed that he was far from excited to be traded to Sacramento.
I walked in, and the first thing I said to him, I said, “I know you traded me. But don’t tell me you traded me to Sacramento Kings.” And he said, “I traded you to Sacramento Kings.” And I said, “Thank you. I really appreciate it.” And I turned around. And that was one of the worst days of my life, really.
It was unbelievable. I walk in, and the first thing I hear from one of the players, they go, “Welcome to hell.” And I’m like, “Aw, s—. Damn.” I’m like, “What? Oh my god.” So, I sit down. Now, I’m just sitting there. I have my clothes on and Spud Webb comes down sits right next to me.
Spud whispers to me and goes, “Man, I don’t wish this on nobody. But I’m glad you’re here with me.”
Mitch Richmond eventually became a multiple-time All-Star with the Sacramento Kings, and he definitely had some of the best individual seasons of his career with the franchise. It definitely worked out in some ways. However, it was certainly rough to start. Richmond told a story about how the Kings once lost by 61 points, which caused him to start crying. He also stated that he didn't comb his hair for the whole year after the incident.
She wouldn’t even say anything. And I looked at it. We had lost by 61 points. I just started crying. I just started crying. I’m like, “Man, ain’t no way.”
I called my agent, and I – a young player, I didn’t even know the rules. And I called him, and I said, “Is there any way I can retire?”
I said, “Can I just retire and come somewhere else?” He said, “Ah, it doesn’t work that way.” And I was like, “Damn.” So, the story gets even worse.
So, the next morning – I just bought my house, and I already decided I’m not moving. I’m just going to drive up every day. You know what I mean? I’m just going to drive up. I’m just going to commute. Whatever. Why not? So, I drive up, and we’re supposed to have practice at like 10:30. I get there by like 9, trying to figure out, get there a little early. Walk in the locker room. No one is there. Ten o’clock comes. No one there. 10:30 comes. No one there. I’m still there. I stay there until noon. Randy Brown walks in, and I said, “Hey, what time practice?” He said, “Aw man, we’ve got two days off.” I said, “Two days offs? We just f—ing lost by 61.” Two days off – oh my god. I said, “Oh my god. Aw, aw.”
That year, I decided I wasn’t going to comb my hair. I wasn’t going to do anything. I didn’t comb my hair for the whole year.
There is no doubt that the Sacramento Kings don't have the best winning history as a franchise, even though there were definitely periods of time where they have been competitive. Mitch Richmond was a talented scorer who was in a bad situation, and it's easy to see why he felt that way about the Kings.
Things did end up going in Mitch Richmond's favor in terms of team success eventually, and he ended up winning the championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, after only making the playoffs once with the Sacramento Kings. While he does have a solid individual legacy, we have to wonder how differently we would view Mitch Richmond if he had more team success.