Steve Mix was on the outer fringes of professional basketball in 1972-73, cut by the Philadelphia 76ers in training camp and playing for a team called the Grand Rapids Pickers in the Continental Basketball Association. He got another chance with the 76ers in August 1973 and made the most of it.
Mix went from those humble beginnings to become an All-Star in 1975 and finished second in the NBA in steals in 1973-74.
He was also part of a renaissance in Philadelphia, playing in three NBA Finals as a reserve. In a six-game loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1977 NBA Finals, Mix averaged 6.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 18.7 minutes a game, shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and going 7-for-9 at the line.
He appeared in five of the six games of the loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980 NBA Finals, averaging 7.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 15.2 minutes a game, shooting .483/—/8-for-8.
Mix was nearing the end in 1982 in another six-game loss to the Lakers, appearing in three games and averaging 3.3 points in five minutes per game, shooting 4-for-7/1-for-1/1-for-1.
He signed with the Milwaukee Bucks as a veteran free agent in September 1982, ending a decade with the 76ers.
In nine seasons in Philadelphia, Mix averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals in 25.3 minutes per game, shooting .503/5-for-17/.808.
Mix was a fifth-round pick out of Toledo by the Detroit Pistons in the 1969 NBA Draft and spent parts of three seasons there before being waived in November 1971. He signed with the American Basketball Association’s Denver Rockets in December 1971 before he was waived after playing in just one game.
The Bucks waived Mix in April 1983 and five days later, he signed with the Lakers, playing in one game against Philadelphia in the NBA Finals.