Michael Ray Richardson Bio
Head Coach London Lightning
Richardson was born in Lubbock, Texas. The New York Knicks drafted him with their fourth pick overall in the 1978 NBA Draft, and he was billed as "the next Walt Frazier." Two picks later, the Boston Celtics drafted Larry Bird.
In his second year, Richardson became the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both assists and steals, setting Knicks franchise records in both categories.
At the beginning of the 1982-83 season, he was sent to the Golden State Warriors as compensation for the New York Knicks signing Bernard King as a free agent. After playing only 33 games for the Warriors, Richardson was traded to the New Jersey Nets. He would be named an all-star as a Net, playing on the Eastern Conference all-star team that allegedly froze out Michael Jordan. In the 1984 playoffs, Richardson led the Nets to a shocking upset of the defending champion Philadelphia 76ers. In the fifth and deciding game, he scored 24 points with six steals. While the Knicks showed mild improvement after trading Richardson, that improvement was short-lived, ending when King was felled by a devastating knee injury midway through the 1984-85 season.
Richardson went on to play a few seasons in the Continental Basketball Association and United States Basketball League as well as 14 seasons in Europe. There, he signed with Virtus Bologna, a prominent European team, in 1988 and remained there 3 seasons. With the Virtus Bologna he won the Winners' Cup in 1990. In Italy, he stayed 2 seasons (1992–1993 and following) in Baker Livorno and 1 (1998–1999) in Montana Forlì. He also won the French championship with Olympique Antibes in 1995.
On August 17, 2011, Richardson was announced as the first head coach of the London Lightning, which play in the NBL Canada.