Potential Kings investor Mitch Richmond returns to Sacramento, meets with fans

Mitch Richmond poses for a photo with young Kings' fans. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Kevin Johnson’s State of the City address had few surprises.  But he did have some tricks up his sleeve and one of them came in the form of an all-time Sacramento Kings great.

Mitch Richmond is one of 25 local investors pledging $1 million each in the mayor’s effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento.  Until last week’s State of the City announcement, his involvement remained anonymous.

Today, the six-time NBA All-Star was back in the capital city, meeting with fans and drumming up support for the city’s bid.  Below are a few notable quotes from the 2013 Hall of Fame finalist’s chat with local media at Firestone Public House in Downtown Sacramento.

Richmond on how he got in the mix:

How’d I get involved?  Just been keeping up with the city of Sacramento and also the Kings.  Me and the mayor spoke and decided it was a good way to try to give back to the city and get involved.  And me and the mayor talked and this is what we came up with.

Richmond now resides in Los Angeles, but still holds a fondness for Sacramento:

Oh man, my ties – I played here seven years.  And once you play (here) and once you’re a King, you’re always a King.  And you know, it was some good times here.  I know as far as team-wise, we didn’t have a lot of success.  But, a lot of things that (I accomplished) – I’m the finalist for the Hall of Fame and it all came from here.  It all came from playing seven years (with) this team and this city was backing me.  Made six All-Star teams here.  A lot of awards, a lot of good memories, a lot of good friends that I have here.  So, this city means a lot to me, no doubt.

Richmond on what his gut is telling him about the possible outcome:

I’m staying optimistic.  I’m staying positive.  I think KJ has done an excellent job.  I mean I’m sorry, the mayor has done an excellent job – him and his crew.  Just by doing the right and the possible things to keep this team here.  He’s done some amazing things in a short period of time and a lot of people have come together.  The community has come together.  The fan support has come together.  You guys out here today.  It just goes to show you that this city is backing their team and they want it to stay.

Richmond on if he thinks the narrative surrounding the Kings’ saga has changed:

I think from (an outsider’s) perspective, everyone thinks that the team is gone.  (But I’m) just, you know, staying positive and staying optimistic.  I just feel like we have a shot.  We have a great shot to keep the team here in Sacramento.

Richmond also sees his involvement as an opportunity to repay Kings’ fans for their loyalty and support during the lean years he played in Sacramento.  Tune into the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast tomorrow to hear the rest of the former Kings great’s comments from his appearance in Downtown Sacramento.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.