Sam Mitchell Returns

The Wolves game on Sunday, March 22 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder is the fifth of six 20th Season Tribute games this season, meant to celebrate 20 Seasons of Timberwolves basketball. The Wolves will be honoring Sam Mitchell on court during the game in recognition to his 10-season contribution to Timberwolves basketball.

The first 5,000 fans to the arena on Sunday will receive a one-of-a-kind print the Wolves had painted by St. Paul native artist Robert Blehert featuring Mitchell rising above a defender for a jump shot in the inaugural season road blue uniforms. There is a new print for each of the six Tribute games throughout the Wolves 20th Season.

Sam Mitchell went to college at Mercer, where he remains the all-time leading scorer with 1,986 career points and a 17.7 ppg career scoring average. Mitchell is also the all-time in field goals made in a season (294) and career (768), first in free throws made in a season (186), and seventh in career rebounds (703). A Mercer graduate in 1985, Mitchell was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the third round (54th overall) of the 1985 NBA draft. Before entering the NBA, Mitchell played in the CBA for three seasons and France's top professional league for two seasons. Mitchell was later acquired by the Timberwolves as a free agent on July 23, 1989.

In his first season with the Wolves, Mitchell played in 80 games, starting 30, averaged 12.7 ppg and 5.8 rpg. Mitchell was then dealt to Indiana along with Pooh Richardson on Sept. 8, 1992 in return for Chuck Person and Michael Williams. Minnesota reacquired Mitchell on Sept. 29, 1995 as a free agent.

In his 10 total seasons with the Wolves, Mitchell amassed 7,161 total points (9.5 ppg), 3,030 total rebounds (4.0 rpg) and a .444 FG%, while playing in 797 total games.

Mitchell's 7,161 points is second all-time in Timberwolves history. He is also second in field goals made (2,664), second in offensive rebounds (992), second in total rebounds (3,030), second in games played (757), and second in minutes played (18,394).

In his 13-season NBA career spanning from 1989-2002, Mitchell played in 994 games for two teams and averaged 8.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 1.1 apg.

Mitchell spent two seasons as an NBA assistant coach before being named head coach of the toronto Raptors on June 29, 2004. He won the Red Auerbach Trophy as NBA Coach of the Year in 2006-07 after leading the Raptors to 47 wins and the Atlantic Division title.

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