Tim Hardaway Deserves to be in the Hall of Fame
A couple of days ago, the Hall of Fame finalists were announced, and among the people elected, was Tim Hardaway. Hardaway played 13 NBA seasons for the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, and Indiana Pacers. Will this be the year Hardaway finally gets in?
Tim Hardaway: His Case for the Hall of Fame
Hardaway went to college at Utep from 1985-1989. In 1989 Hardaway won Conference Player of the Year. UTEP is where Hardaway came up with the “UTEP Two-Step,” a crossover dribble. As a senior, the point guard averaged 22.8 points per game.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors drafted Hardaway in the 1989 NBA Draft with the 14th pick. This is where Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, and Hardaway formed Run-TMC. Hardway was the driving force for Run-TMC; he controlled the fast break and dished off to Mullin and Richmond on the wings.
For four straight seasons, Hardway averaged 20 points a game with the Warriors for four consecutive seasons. He also helped the Warriors to two consecutive playoff appearances in the early 1990s. With the Warriors, Hardaway created the “Killer Crossover.” Haraway made the All-Star team three straight times while in Golden State.
In six seasons with the Warriors, Hardway averaged 19.8 points and 9.3 assists per game while shooing 45.5 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. When the Warriors made the playoffs, Hardaway raised his game to another level. He averaged 25.0 points and 10.0 assists in 13 playoff games. The former UTEP star, one of the most feared players in the 90s and had the stats to back it up.
In the middle of the 1995-96 season, Hardaway was traded to the Miami Heat and Chris Gatling for Kevin Willis and Bimbo Coles. In Hardaway’s first full season with the Heat, he was terrific. The former Golden State Warrior averaged 20.3 points, and 8.6 points per game as Miami won 61 games that season. The Heat lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in five games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
While with the Heat, Hardaway made two All-Star teams, and Stan Van Gundy, a member of the Heat’s coaching staff, thought the point guard was the best player on the team.
“Alonzo [Mourning] got in the Hall, and that’s great, but Tim was our best player. A lot of people would tell you in Golden State, Richmond and Mullin got in, and numerous basketball people tell me Tim was their best player. I’m not saying those other guys don’t belong there; they do. I’m just saying Tim belongs with them.”
End of Career
Tim went on to finish his career with the Mavericks, Nuggets, and Pacers. He was no longer the Hardaway we saw in Golden State and Miami. With the Mavericks, he was coming off the bench before being traded to Denver for Nick Van Exel. Hardaway only played in ten games for the Pacers in his final season.
Hardaway finished his NBA career, averaging 17.7 points and 8.2 assists per game. He scored 15,373 points and dished out 7,085 assists. Hardaway was the second-fastest player to score 5,000 points and get 2,500 assists; Oscar Robertson was the first. The former Heat star was a five-time All-Star and member of five All-NBA teams. Tim Hardaway deserves a spot in the NBA Hall of Fame.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images