In 1982, the Knicks traded Richardson to the Golden State Warriors, after signing Bernard King. Golden State quickly traded him to the Nets, where he made the all-star team, and led New Jersey to first-round upset of the defending champion Philadelphia 76ers in the 1983 playoffs.
Richardson's career took a wild turn in 1986, when he was banned from the league for violating the NBA substance abuse policy three times. Richardson tried to make an NBA comeback in 1991, but failed two cocaine tests.
|Micheal Ray Richardson has won back-to-back NBLC titles with the London Lightning (Photo Courtesy of London Free Press)|
By the end of his pro career, Richardson had been a four time NBA all-star, and made the all-defensive first team twice, but his legacy as a coach has been far more successful. After working briefly for the Denver Nuggets as a community ambassador in 2003, he won the CBA title twice. He then won the PBL coach of the year with the Oklahoma/Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry. Even in the CBA, Richardson couldn't avoid controversy. He was suspended from the 2007 CBA finals for telling the Albany Times Union newspaper that Jews were "crafty (because) they are hated worldwide." Richardson made the comments after he was offered a less than satisfactory contract by general manager Jim Coyne to coach his team in the CBA and USBL. It was also reported by the Times Union that Richardson had made an anti-gay remark at a heckling fan during the first game of the championship series against the Yakima Sun Kings.
In 2011, Richardson was named head coach of the London Lightning for the inaugural season of National Basketball League of Canada, what is the country's first established professional basketball league. In 2011-2012, Richards coached the Ontario-based club to a 28-8 regular season record, before defeating the Halifax Rainmen in the best of five championship series to become the league's first champions. This past April, Richardson and his Lightning defended their title, defeating the Summerside Storm in four games in the championship series. Richardson has garnered coach of the year honors in the both of the league's first two seasons.
Though the NBLC title is far from an NBA title, Richardson has proved that he has a knack for winning, as proven by his two championships. It may not be long before we see the former NBA all-star roaming a sideline across the American border.