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Tim Hardaway cherished his career in the NBA, but his son’s play and non-profit work give him life now

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The past few months have given Tim Hardaway plenty of reasons to smile, and the highlight of his accolades was his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.

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But what keeps him on cloud nine is watching his son, Tim Hardaway Jrplay for Dallas Mavericks.

“I love it, man,” said Hardaway. the athlete. “This is his tenth year — his tenth year in NBA – And man, how does time pass. I’m happy for him. I think it’s getting better and better. It is more confident. He understands how to take care of his body. He understands how to be a leader on the field. There are so many things I like when I see him play there, and I enjoy watching him play.”

Through the first 31 games of the season, the younger Hardaway posted 13.1 points and 2.7 rebounds. He is one of five Dallas players to achieve double-digit scoring averages, and ranks second on the team behind him Luka Donjic In 3 indicators for each contest. For his career, he averaged double figures in scoring every season except for one season — 2015-16 — when he averaged a 6.4 amid a slow start with Atlanta Hawks.

In Wednesday’s game vs Minnesota TimberwolvesHardaway, Jr. scored 21 points to help the Mavericks win 104-99 on the road. He had nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and helped Dallas slide a two-game lead.

His scoring stats are similar to what his father did regularly during the 1990s. The elder Hardaway averaged 20 or more points per game in five NBA seasons. Hardaway had his induction into the Hall of Fame that September, and the following month, he was honored at the 37th Annual Buoniconti Fund. Great sports legends dinner in New York City for his charitable work. Buoniconti FundA nonprofit organization, raising money and awareness to help the Miami Paralysis Project.

Ask Hardaway, though, and none of it matches the pride in his voice when he talks about his son’s NBA career.

“He tells me every day he’s proud of me,” Hardaway Jr. said of his father. “He understands I’m not doing it for him; I do this for myself, and being more of a father than a coach, that has lifted a weight off my shoulders that has helped me get to this point in my career. So, I definitely thank him for that.”

Currently the college’s scouts New York KnicksHardaway starred in Golden State Warriors (1989-96) and Miami Heat (1996-2001), then played with Dallas, Denver And the Indiana From 2001-03. The strength of the five-time NBA All-Star helped him become one of the best players of his generation.

He has enjoyed Hall of Fame recognition, making the award a celebratory circuit.

“My family and I, we’ve been going at a pace, having fun and doing what we’re supposed to do, and having fun with people too,” Hardaway said. “People come and support you. I was just having fun. I’m enjoying the ride, enjoying the ride.”

Hardaway’s jersey had been retired by the Heat and at UTEP prior to his Hall of Fame induction. His son achieved his own in the NBA as a 6-foot-5 wing who has posted a double-digit average in nine of his ten seasons.

The younger Hardaway said he realized his dad was “really, really good” when he watched him play against the Knicks in the playoffs during the 1990s. The Hall of Fame ceremony was an affirmation of his father’s greatness.

“It’s great to be able to follow in your father’s footsteps, but more importantly, to know he was that guy, he was that guy,” Hardaway Jr. said. “It was great. It was something I will never forget, something our family will never forget. We are just so happy for him. It’s been so many years of crying and being sad just because he didn’t get the call he wanted. Just to finally get that call and cry of joy was amazing” .

It has been speculated by some that Hardaway’s wait for induction was due to homophobic comments made at the time An interview 15 years ago in which he issued an apology. There’s no way to know why Hardaway wasn’t a Hall of Famer early on, but he did enjoy the celebration of his career that came with this honor.

Hardaway may be best known for his crossover dribble, otherwise known as the UTEP Two-Step. He averaged 17.7 points and 8.2 assists in his career.

His 7,095 assists rank 18th all-time among NBA players. A five-time All-NBA selection, Hardaway was a first-round pick for Golden State in 1989 and teamed up with future Hall of Famers Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullen to form “Run TMC”, which was a pun on the name of the legendary rap group Run-DMC. The trio were the fast-paced, high-scoring centre-forwards under head coach Don Nelson. Future Hall of Famer Šarūnas Marčiulionis was also on the team.

Run TMC only lasted two seasons after Richmond was traded to Sacramento in 1992, but the group’s influence on the game remains; Their speed and style were ahead of their time.

Hardaway was a Hall of Fame finalist five times prior to his election. He was the last member of Run TMC to receive a Hall of Fame nod.

“You have to wait until they’re ready to let you in,” Hardaway said. “I was patient and happy because not just with them, but with Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Alonzo Morning, these guys that I played with, enjoyed the game, enjoyed the game and slept with them. So, it’s great to be with them. People say you’re one of the greats – and people would tell me that – but when in reality over there There, you now feel that everything is solidified.”

As part of the Heat, Hardaway was the facilitator for one of the best teams in the East and part of one of the most intense rivalries of the late 1990s between the Miami and New York Knicks.

Besides being a Knicks scout and following his son’s career, Hardaway is also heavily involved Support groupInc., a nonprofit organization he helped create in 1989 to help underprivileged youth in his hometown of Chicago.

He has also worked with Buoniconti FundA nonprofit organization focused on raising money and awareness to help the Miami Paralysis Project. The Miami Draft was started in 1985 by Pro Football Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins linebacker Nick Buoniconti after his son Mark suffered a spinal injury in a college football game. Hardaway became familiar with the Buoniconti fund after he was traded to the Heat in 1996.

“When you move to a city, you become the city,” Hardaway said. “I become a fan of the Miami Dolphins; you become a fan of the teams in Miami. I was always a big fan of the Miami Dolphins growing up with Mercury Morris and Bob Griese and Larry Csonka and all those guys. When they told me about the Buoniconti Foundation, we were all (with the Heat) on board “.

Mark Boniconti said he met Hardaway over 20 years ago. Since then, Hardaway has been an asset in helping raise funds and awareness.

“Whenever we needed him to come out for an event, do something, he said, ‘Anything I can help with,'” Buonconte said.

Hardaway said Buoniconti’s honor means a lot because he’s part of the list of great athletes honored, including Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Willie Mays, and Serena Williams. He described the past few months as “tremendous”.

“You have to be humble and understand when to party, and when not to party,” said Hardaway. “When do you start working, but it was just a whirlwind kind of situation.”

the athleteTim Cato contributed to this report.

(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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