Tim Hardaway cherished his NBA career, but son’s play, nonprofit work now gives him life

In recent months, Tim Hardaway has had plenty of reasons to smile. A highlight of his accolades was being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.

But what keeps him on the cloud nine is watching his son Tim Hardaway Jr. play for the Dallas Mavericks.

“I love it,” Hardaway said athletic“This is his 10th year, his 10th year in the NBA. And time flies. I’m happy for him. I think he’s just getting better and better.” He has more confidence He knows how to take care of his body He knows how to be a leader on the court Watch him play There are a lot of things I like about him and it’s fun to watch him play.”

Through the first 31 games of the season, the young Hardaway averaged 13.1 points and 2.7 rebounds. He is one of his five players in Dallas to average double figures in scoring and is second on the team behind Luka Doncic in his 3-pointers per game. In his career, he averaged double digits every season except 2015-16, averaging 6.4 amid a slow start with the Atlanta Hawks.

On Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points to help the Mavericks take a 104-99 road win. He scored his nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and helped Dallas take the skid in his two games.

The scoring stats were similar to what his father regularly did in the 1990s. Elder Hardaway has averaged over 20 points per game in his five seasons in the NBA. Hardaway celebrated his induction into the Hall of Fame in September, and the following month, his philanthropy was honored at the Buoniconti Foundation’s 37th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner in New York City. The non-profit Buoniconti Foundation raises funds and awareness to support the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

But if you ask Hardaway, nothing matches the pride in his voice when talking about his son’s NBA career.

“He tells me every day that he’s proud of me. He wants me to go out and be the best version of myself,” Hardaway Jr. said of his father. “He understands that I’m not doing this for him. I’m doing this for myself. He’s more of a father figure than a coach.” So I am grateful to him.

Now a college scout for the New York Knicks, Hardaway played for the Golden State Warriors (1989-96) and Miami Heat (1996-2001), playing for Dallas, Denver and Indiana in 2001-03. A five-time NBA All-Star, his toughness helped him become one of the best players of his generation.

He enjoyed being inducted into the Hall of Fame and made the awards circuit of the ceremony.

“Me and my family are having fun, doing things, having fun with people,” Hardaway said. I enjoy the ride and I enjoy the ride.”

Hardaway’s jersey retired from the Heat and UTEP before being inducted into the Hall of Fame. His son has carved out his own niche in the NBA as his 6-foot-5 winger has averaged double-digit scoring in nine out of ten seasons.

A young Hardaway said watching his father play against the Knicks in the 1990s playoffs made him “really, really good”. It was something to do.

“It’s great to be able to follow in your dad’s footsteps, but the most important thing is to know he was that man, he was that man,” said Hardaway Jr. “Good. It was something I will never forget and our family will obviously never forget. We are happy for him. Reason why he didn’t get the call he wanted There were years of tears and sorrow alone. It was great that he just took that call and finally cried tears of joy.”

Some have speculated that Hardaway was waiting to be inducted into the Hall of Fame because he apologized for the homophobic comments he made in an interview 15 years ago. No way, but he’s enjoying the celebration of his career that came along with Honor.

Hardaway may be best known for his crossover dribble 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. All in his NBA he was a five-time selection. Hardaway was named Golden State’s first-round pick in 1989 and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. Formed “Run TMC”, a playoff that bears the player’s name. Rap group Run-DMC. The trio were central to a high-scoring, fast-paced offense under coach Don Nelson. Future Hall of Famer Sarnath Marciulionis also joined the team.

Run TMC lasted only two seasons after Richmond was traded to Sacramento in 1992, but the group’s influence on the game remains.

Hardaway was a five-time Hall of Fame finalist before being elected. He was the last member of Run TMC to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I’ll have to wait until you’re ready to come in,” said Hardaway. “I am patient and happy to be with not only them, but also Charnas Marciulionis, Alonzo Mourning, with whom I played, enjoyed, enjoyed the game and grew with the game. It’s great to be with them, people say you’re one of the greats — and they told me — Therefore Everything feels solid there. ”

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

In addition to being a Knicks scout and following his son’s career, Hardaway is heavily involved with Support Group, a non-profit organization he founded in 1989 to help underserved youth in his hometown of Chicago. increase.

He also collaborates with The Buoniconti Fund, a nonprofit focused on raising funds and awareness in support of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Miami His project was started by his Dolphins linebacker, Nick His, in 1985 after his son Mark suffered a spinal cord injury in a college football game. . Hardaway became close with the Buoniconti Fund after being traded to the Heat in 1996.

“When you move into a city, you become a city,” said Hardaway. “You become a fan of the Miami Dolphins. You become a fan of the team that is in Miami. All of us (along with Heat) were on board when they told me about the Buoniconti Foundation.”

Mark Buoniconti said he met Hardaway over 20 years ago. Since then, Hardaway has become an asset that helps raise funds and awareness.

“Any time he needs to attend an event, do something,” he said.

Hardaway said Buoniconti’s honor means a lot because he’s part of a list of great athletes who have won awards, including Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Willie Mays and Serena Williams. called the months “tremendous.”

“You have to humbly understand when to party and when not to party,” Hardaway said. “When do we get to the point? But it’s just a whirlwind situation.”

athleticTim Cato of contributed to this report.

(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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