It didn’t produce an NBA championship, but the “Run-TMC” era of Golden State Warriors basketball nonetheless retains a prominent spot in the annals of hoops lore. And the “T” in that equation, point guard Tim Hardaway, was the straw that stirred to drink with his court vision, scoring ability and legendary handles.
Despite that, though, he continues to be the only cornerstone piece from those teams not to receive enshrinement at the Basketball Hall of Fame; Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond and head coach Don Nelson have all been inducted over the years.
However, that longstanding wrong may finally be on the verge of being righted.
As reported by NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole, Hardaway will finally be inducted into the Hoops Hall as part of its 2022 class. He’ll be joined by such luminaries as Spurs legend Manu Ginobili and longtime NBA coach George Karl, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Hardaway’s Legendary Career
Hardaway spent six and a half years in the Bay Area from 1989 to 1996 (the ’93-94 was lost to him as a result of a knee injury). During that time, he appeared in three All-Star games and averaged 19.8 points, 9.3 assists and 1.9 steals per contest.
Meanwhile, he twice led the Warriors in win shares.
Alas, Golden State ultimately elected to ship him off to South Beach, along with Chris Gatling, in a trade for Bimbo Coles and Kevin Willis. The move didn’t exactly pay dividends for the Dubs, but Hardaway continued to be one of the game’s elite floor generals.
Over a six-year run with the Heat, he put up 17.3 points, 7.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game, earning two more All-Star nods along the way. He also teamed up with Alonzo Mourning and head coach Pat Riley to lead Miami to multiple playoff berths, including a run to the Eastern Conference Finals in ’97.
For his career, Hardaway ranks 12th all-time in assists per game (8.2), 18th in total assists (7,095), 15th in assists percentage (37.9) and 39th in offensive box plus/minus (3.61).
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What Was the Hold-Up?
Although there’s no debating his résumé as a basketball player, Hardaway is entering the HOF much later than anyone would have expected. Most believe that this is due to inflammatory remarks he made in the past about the LGBTQ+ community.
During a 2007 radio interview, Hardway had this to say in the wake of former NBA big man John Amaechi coming out as gay:
“Well, you know I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”
Over the years that have ensued, though, Hardaway has apologized and made a real effort to be an ally for those he once denounced.
As relayed by NBC 6 South Florida, he was the first person to sign a 2013 petition seeking to legalize gay marriage in the state. Former Nets big man Jason Collins further noted that Hardaway expressed his support during his own coming out.