Warriors Rumors: Hardaway in the HOF mix again
They may not have made it past the second round of the playoffs — and sometimes they missed the playoffs entirely — but the Golden State Warriors teams of the late ’80s and early ’90s hold a special place nonetheless. in the hearts of longtime fans.
And while Chris Mullin was the cornerstone, Tim Hardaway can deserve the same credit for making this era of Warriors basketball what it was. From his debut with the franchise, the baller was two-step UTEP in the hearts of fans with his innovative play.
During a period when Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Gary Payton, Kevin Johnson and Mark Jackson were playing, Hardaway was a top five player in his position.
For all the good he’s done on the hardwood, though — All-Star nods, Run-TMC, etc. — the former floor general has yet to earn the Hall of Fame induction many believe he deserves. However, he could finally be on the verge of receiving his sport’s highest honor.
On Friday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Hardaway as one of 11 finalists for enrollment as a member of the 2022 HOF class.
Hardaway has a resume worthy of an HOF
This isn’t the first time Hardaway has been in contention for a spot in Hoops Hall; his near misses have been a hot issue for years. For his part, Stan Van Gundy, who was an assistant on Pat Riley’s team when the point guard was in Miami, was outraged by the continued snobbery.
“I’m more focused on the Hall of Fame with the disappointment yet again of Tim Hardaway Sr. not getting in. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It will never make sense to me,” said the coach last year, via Mavs.com.
“I know the numbers and the awards and all about some of the other guards that are in there. It’s a huge disappointment and extremely ridiculous that voters overlook it. »
When it comes to stats and accolades, Hardaway’s candidacy is impossible to dismiss. Over a 13-year career, he averaged 17.7 points, 8.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. During that time, he played in five All-Star Games and was an All-NBA honoree five times.
Hardaway also ranks 12th all-time in assists per game, 18th in total assists, 15th in assist percentage and 39th in offensive box plus/minus.
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Some, including Hardaway himself, opine that his past statements regarding the LGBTQ+ community are what kept him away from HOF. During a 2007 interview, he said the following in response to former NBA big man John Amaechi, who came 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 being around gay people. I’m homophobic. I don’t like that. It doesn’t should not be in the world or in the United States.
Since then, however, Hardaway has repeatedly apologized and done his best to atone for his former ignorance. As reported by NBC 6 South Florida, the baller was the first person to sign a 2013 petition to legalize same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State.
He also voiced his support for former Nets center Jason Collins upon his release.