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Richmond says it was ‘tough’ to miss final game at Sleep Train

Former Kings great Mitch Richmond goes into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame

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Even though former Kings guard Mitch Richmond no longer is financially invested in the Kings, he still keeps up with the team.

“No, I’m not a part of (the ownership group), no, but listen, I played seven years in Sacramento so when things come up I’m always watching,” said Richmond, who was honored Wednesday at Oracle Arena during the Warriors’ rout of the Rockets for his induction into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on May 16. “I’m always seeing what’s going on.”

In addition to a stake in the team, Richmond was an adviser to the front office before joining Chris Mullin’s coaching staff at St. John’s as a special assistant. Mullin had been an adviser to Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive before taking the St. John’s job last year.

When dozens of former Kings players attended the team’s final game at Sleep Train Arena earlier this month, many wondered why Richmond wasn’t there.

“No question about it, it was tough” not being at the game, Richmond said.

He said the city will benefit from the new Golden 1 Center when it opens for next season.

“I think to improve Sacramento and to get everybody in one spot, I think you have to do what you’re doing in Sacramento as far as downtown,” Richmond said. “I think that’s going to open up a floodgate of things that are going to happen.”

Richmond’s best seasons of his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame career were in Sacramento, but he started with the Warriors (1988-91), was Rookie of the Year in 1989 and was part of the revered Run TMC trio with Mullin and Tim Hardaway.

Even though his time with the Warriors was brief, he’s remains popular in the Bay Area. Still, he was surprised to join athletes like Mullin, Joe Montana and Willie Mays in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

“Very much so,” Richmond said. “I had no idea. I knew Mully went in a while back and didn’t pay too much attention to it. This came about and someone called me about it and I started looking at the list and it’s pretty special.”

Watch the last Sacramento Kings final game at Sleep Train Arena in less than 15 seconds in this timelapse.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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