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Mike Mitchell (NBA)

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Subject: Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Žarko Paspalj, Earl Strom, Pallacanestro Reggiana, 1981 NBA All-Star Game, Ted Stepien, Auburn Tigers men's basketball
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Mike Mitchell (NBA)

This article is about the former NBA and European leagues player. For other American player who played in Australia and Europe, see Mike Mitchell (basketball, born 1967).

Michael Anthony Mitchell (January 1, 1956 – June 9, 2011[1]) was an American professional basketball player in the NBA over eleven seasons from 1978 to 1990.

Mitchell, who was born in Atlanta, played collegiately at Auburn University. While at Auburn, Mitchell was a four-time All-SEC selection, and was named a second-team All-American in his 1977-78 season. He also became Auburn's all-time leader in scoring (2,123 points) and rebounding (996), after leaving for the NBA. He remains the all-time leading rebounder, and is second in all-time scoring only to Chuck Person. Mitchell's number 30 jersey was retired on January 19th, 2013 at the Auburn Arena.[2]

Mitchell was drafted with the 15th pick in the First round of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He started his NBA career with the Cavaliers, but played most of his career for the San Antonio Spurs. Mitchell was a 6'7" and 215 lb. small forward with career averages of 19.8 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game, a .493 field goal percentage, and a .779 free throw percentage.

Mitchell was an All-Star in 1981, and was in the top ten in scoring four times and top ten in minutes played three times. Among other career highlights, he led the Spurs in scoring for the 1984–1985 season, which marked the only season in which George Gervin played on the Spurs and did not lead the team in scoring. Mitchell averaged 22.2 points per game to Gervin's 21.2 per game.

Mitchell averaged 19.8 points per game over the course of his career.[3] His 9799 total points for the San Antonio Spurs is seventh highest in franchise history, behind Gervin, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker, James Silas and Manu Ginobili.[4]

From 1988 until a short return to the Spurs during the 1990 playoffs, Mitchell played in Italy for Basket Brescia. He went on to play in Italy, this time for Basket Napoli, before leaving for Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C. in 1991. From 1992 until his retirement in 1999, Mitchell played for another Italian club, Pallacanestro Reggiana.

Mitchell later worked as a counselor with at-risk youth in San Antonio.

He died of cancer in 2011.

References

External links

  • Mike Mitchell page at basketball-reference.com
  • Lega Basket Serie A stats (Italian)
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