Christopher Steven Mihm (born July 16, 1979) is an American former professional basketball center who played nine seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). After playing college basketball at Texas, he was drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls.
Mihm was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Gary and Nina Mihm and later moved to Texas. At the age of 14, he was ranked among Texas' top tennis players in his age group. His opponents included future US Open champion Andy Roddick and NFL quarterback Drew Brees, both of whom resided in the area. Mihm was classmates with Brees and NFL offensive lineman Seth McKinney at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, where he became an all-state player by his senior year.
Mihm played his college basketball in University of Texas at Austin, where he was one of the top players in school history. He ranks first on UT's all-time blocks list (264), second in double-doubles (47), fourth in rebounds (945) and 16th in scoring (1,404 points), as well as being tied with Mo Bamba and Chris Owens for the single-game block record (8). He was the first person in Texas history to record 1,100 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocks. He recorded a double-double in 47 of his 96 career games. He was the second player in Texas history to post 300 rebounds in back-to-back seasons (LaSalle Thompson). He played in all 96 games during his first three years. Mihm was just the third 7-footer in school history.
He began his freshman season playing in all 31 games, including 28 straight starts to end the season. After putting together the top season by a Longhorn freshman center since LaSalle Thompson in 1979–80, he was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team while earning honorable mention all-Big 12 and honorable mention Academic All-Big 12 honors despite the Longhorns posting a disappointing season with 14-17 overall record and a 6-10 record in conference play. Mihm was a three-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week (December 15, January 25 & February 9), he was named third-team All-Freshman choice by Basketball Weekly after he led the team in rebounding (8.0 rpg.) and set a new school record with 90 blocked shots, his 2.9 blocks per game average ranked eighth nationally. Mihm topped the 20-point mark four times with 29 vs. Nebraska On January 21 and 25 each vs. Texas A&M February 18, at Fresno State on January 24, and at North Texas on November 22. He added in 12 rebounds and a then-school record-tying seven blocks at North Texas. He posted seven more rejections against Oklahoma State.
He tied the UT freshman record for rebounds in a game (LaSalle Thompson, 1979–80) with 17 boards at Texas Tech. He recorded a team-high of eight double-doubles, and pulled down 10 or more rebounds in a game 10 times. His put-back of a Kris Clack miss with 15 seconds left proved to be the game-winner in UT's 81-80 Big Monday victory at Texas A&M. Mihm got a piece of Rayford Young's last-second shot to preserve an 82-80 win at Texas Tech, he has hit a pair of free throws with eight seconds left to provide the final margin in an 86-83 UT win over Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. He blocked at least one shot in 29 of 31 games, Mihm would miss the first month of practice (his foot was in a plastic boot for three weeks) while recovering from a mild stress injury in his right foot. He was limited to four practices prior to the season opener.
In his sophomore season, Mihm responded with a breakout year as the Longhorns starting center for the second straight season, developing into one of the top big men in the nation. His scoring, blocking, and rebounding ability helped Texas to a 13-3 record in Big 12 Conference play under newly head coach Rick Barnes, clinching the conference regular season title and an invite to the NCAA Tournament. He was an Associated Press honorable mention all-American choice, Basketball Times all-southwest, Big 12 Conference Player of the Year by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, consensus first-team all-Big 12 pick (coaches & media), first-team NABC all-District 9 selection and USBWA all-District 7 choice, while also being named to the Big 12 all-Improved and all-Defensive squads by the media at the end of the season.
he was tied for the NCAA lead in double-doubles with 19 (tied with Washington's Todd MacCulloch, and Southeast Missouri State's Bud Eley for the lead). Mihm was ranked fourth nationally in rebounding, averaging 11.0 rebounds per game and 17th in blocked shots with 2.6 blocks per game. He was the only player on the Texas squad to start all 32 games, he averaged a double-double on the season with 13.7 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game. came out strong during Texas' three postseason games in the Big 12 and NCAA tourney, averaging 21.0 points per game, 14.0 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game. He led the Big 12 Conference in rebounding, blocked shots, offensive rebounds (4.06 avg.) and defensive rebounds (6.91 avg.), he also led the team in free throws made (149). He became just the sixth player in school history to average at least 10.0 rebounds per game in a single season, and the first full-season player since LaSalle Thompson led the nation at 13.5 rebounds per game in 1981–82 (Albert Burditt averaged 14.1 rebounds per game thru the first 12 games in 1992–93, before being dismissed from the team). his 351 rebounds ranked third on the UT single-season list, while his 11.0 rebound average was tied for third-best on the single season chart. his 84 blocks ranked second on the school's single-season chart behind his own record of 90 set as a freshman, posted 16 double-doubles over the last 21 games of the year, averaged 11.5 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game during the first 11 games of the year while the Longhorns were 3-8 at the time.
He was a dominating player over the last 21 games of the season, posting 14.8 points per game and an eye-opening 12.6 rebounds per game in leading UT to a 16-5 mark in those games. averaged a double-double in league play with 13.6 points per game and 11.8 rebounds per game, led UT in scoring nine times, in rebounding 25 times, and in Blocks 26 times. had 22 Double-Figure Rebounding efforts, while Mihm posted at least one block in 30 of the 32 games, including 15 games with at least three rejections. tied his own school single-game record with seven blocks in the season-opener at Houston on November 17. on November 21, he became the fastest player in Texas history to reach 100 career blocks (33 games) with his three rejections against South Florida. Mihm earned his first career Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honor On February. 1, averaging 18.5 points per game and 14.0 rebounds per game in wins over Oklahoma on January 25 and UMass on January 31. He dominated UMass senior center and projected NBA first-round pick Lari Ketner, posting 20 points while tying his career high with 17 rebounds.
earned a spot on the five-man Phillips 66 Big 12 All-Tournament team, after averaging 21.0 points per game, 14.0 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks per game in UT's two games in the conference tournament. recorded his season-high 24 points to go along with 14 boards and three blocks in the quarterfinal win over Colorado on March 5. returned to post 17 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks in a loss against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament Semifinals on March 6. He gave the nation a glimpse of what he can do in the future by posting 21 points, 14 boards and two blocks in the first-round NCAA loss to Purdue on March 12.
He had another breakout season his junior year, putting up one of the best seasons in Longhorns history while entering his junior season as the starting center for a third straight year. Was one of two Longhorns to start all 33 games, He led Texas to a 24-9 overall record, and a 13-3 Big 12 record (failing to defend their big 12 regular season title), while also leading UT to a 13-1 home record and an undefeated 8-0 mark in conference play at Frank Erwin Center. At the end of the season, he was a consensus first-team all-American pick, becoming just the second player in Texas history to earn the honor (Jack Gray, 1935). Mihm Was selected a first-team all-American choice by the Associated Press, NABC, CNNSI.com and College Hoops Insider, becoming the first AP first-team All-American in school history. He was also a Wooden Award All-American Team choice (one of the top 10 players in the nation), earning second-team all-American honors by Basketball Times, USBWA and The Sporting News, While being chosen as consensus First-Team All-Big 12 Choice for the second straight year (becoming the 14th player in Longhorns history to be a first-team all-conference selection two times). was also selected to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, and first-team NABC All-District 9 pick for a second time. He was one of 15 finalists for the Naismith Award.
At the team banquet awards, he shared team MVP honors with teammate and senior point guard Ivan Wagner in selection by his teammates, he also won the Coca-Cola solid citizen award (the award is presented to the player for community and media relations as well as public appearance achievements during the season), Mihm led the Big 12 in double-doubles (20), rebounding (10.5) and blocks (90). He was ranked fifth in the league in scoring (17.7), he tied his own single-season school record with 90 rejections at the time (Chris Owens passed the record with 92 rejections), his 20 double-doubles tied for the second-best single-season mark in school history. his 338 rebounds marked the fourth-best single-season total in Texas history. led Texas in Scoring 23 times, Rebounding 26 times and Blocks 25 times, he reached Double-Figures in scoring in all but one of his 33 games. He registered 21 double-digit board performances, while he earned Tournament MVP honors at the Puerto Rico Shootout, he averaged 20.3 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game and 3.3 blocks per game in leading Texas to claimed their first regular season tournament title since the 1994–95 season (Prior to winning the Puerto Rico Shootout, Texas had never won an eight-team, neutral-site, in-season tournament title in the school's history). also claimed Big 12 Player of the Week on November 29, and ESPN.com and College Hoops Insider National Player of the Week honors. He posted 23 points, 13 boards and three blocks in the victory over #18 DePaul on November 26, before recording 19 points, 11 rebounds and five rejections in the upset of #3 Michigan State on November 27. Put in his second straight 20 point game having 20 points, 13 boards and tied the school record with seven swats in a win vs. Houston on January 2. He was named Big 12 Player of the Week on January 31 for the second time this season while averaging 21.0 points per game, 11.0 rebounds per game and 2.0 blocks per game in two contests. had 14 points and five boards in 19 minutes in leading the Longhorns to there eighth straight win at home of the season vs. Nebraska on January 25. Mihm had a solid game, recording a season-high 28 points (10-of-11 free throws) and tied a career high with 17 boards in a 75-65 win vs. Colorado on January 29. He registered 18 points (10-of-10 free throws), 12 boards and set a school record with eight blocks at Massachusetts on February 5. Was named ESPN.com National Player of the Week on February 20 after averaging 16.0 points per game and 14.0 rebounds per game in games vs. #8 Oklahoma State on February 16 and at Baylor on February 19. Helped the Longhorns upset the Oklahoma State Cowboys with 15 points and 16 rebounds on February 16, before totaling 17 points and 12 boards at Baylor.
He also earned Big 12 All-Tournament Team honors for the second straight year, in the tournament he averaged 19.5 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game and 3.5 blocks per game in two games, he posted 13 points and 10 rebounds in the NCAA Second Round game losing to the #10 LSU Tigers on March 18. Mihm was named to Playboy's preseason all-America team before he entered the NBA Draft.
Mihm holds Longhorns individual, single season records, and career records, The school record books also mentions Mihm for the following items below:
- Blocked shots in a half: 6 (1st half) (At Massachusetts, February 5, 2000)
- Blocked shots in a game: 8 (At Massachusetts, February 5, 2000) (tied with Chris Owens' eight blocked shots against California on November 15, 2000)
- Blocked shots in a season: 90 (tied 2nd) (1997–98, 1999–2000)
- Blocked shots by a sophomore: 84 (1998–99)
- Blocked shots in a Big 12 season: 54 (1997–98)
- Blocked shots in a career: 264
The Big 12 record books also mentions Mihm for the following items below:
- Blocked shots in a season by a freshman average: 2.90 (1997–98)
- Blocked shots in a season by a freshman (Big 12 Average): 3.38 (1997–98)
- Blocked shots in a season by a freshman (Big 12 Total): 54 (1997–98)
Cleveland Cavaliers (2000–2003)
Mihm was picked 7th overall by the Chicago Bulls but was then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jamal Crawford. During his rookie season, he started 43 of 59 games for the Cavs, but injuries caused him to miss the other 23. In his 28th game (February 19, 2001, versus the same Bulls team that had drafted him), Mihm recorded the first assist of his career.
In his second season with the Cavaliers, he started 60 of his 74 games but missed eight games with a right knee contusion. In his third season, he missed his first 27 games due to a strained left hamstring. In fourth and final season with the Cavaliers, he played 22 games for them. He was traded by the Cavaliers with Ricky Davis, Michael Stewart and a second-round draft choice to the Boston Celtics for Tony Battie, Kedrick Brown and Eric Williams.
Boston Celtics (2003–2004)
Mihm was a reserve center for Mark Blount. Mihm played in 54 games for the Celtics but missed a game due to a strained left hamstring. He was then in the off-season acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers along with Chucky Atkins and Jumaine Jones in exchange for Gary Payton, Rick Fox and a future first round draft pick.
Los Angeles Lakers (2004–2009)
In his first season with the Lakers, Mihm started as a center in all of his 75 games. He missed seven games due to injury with a gastrointestinal disorder and to a sprained right ankle. He also had his career-highs of 25 points, 11 field goals made, and 18 field goal attempts versus Orlando. In his second season with the Lakers, he started 56 out of 59 games, averaging a career-high 10.2 points on .501 shooting from the field. He missed six games due to a sprained right shoulder and missed 17 regular season games plus with playoffs due to a severely sprained right ankle. In the next season, he missed the whole season because he was recovering from his right ankle surgeries.
Mihm then became a free-agent following the 2006–07 season. He was sought by the Chicago Bulls to help with their low-post scoring but the Bulls signed Joe Smith. Mihm eventually re-signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in the off-season, as reported by NBA.com.
Memphis Grizzlies (2009)
Mihm was traded to the Grizzlies for a failed conditional 2013 second-round pick on February 18, 2009. However, Mihm did not play for the Grizzlies after undergoing right ankle surgery. As a result, Mihm ended up retiring from basketball.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|