Tim Hardaway was a five-time All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, and, in the early 1990s, one-third of Run TMC – one of the most entertaining basketball trios of all time. Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin all averaged 20+ points per game and made the Golden State Warriors one of the hottest tickets in the league.
Hardaway, now an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons, was elated to see his former team win the NBA title this season.
“I was very excited for them,” Hardaway said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I was very excited for the fans, to tell you the truth. I think they are the greatest fans in the world. When I was there, we wasn’t winning. They still came out and supported (us). We were selling out. The only thing they want you to do is just give effort and they will support you. I’m so happy for the Bay Area – because they definitely deserved it. I’m not saying Cleveland fans didn’t deserve it, but Warriors fans – they are diehard Warriors fans day in and day out, season in and season out. They want their Warriors to win and they love basketball, so I’m happy for the fans.”
The Warriors, who had the best offense and defense in basketball this year, relied on perimeter shooting both during the regular season and in the playoffs.
“They went out there and they played the same way all year long,” Hardaway said. “They shot threes all year long. They was league leaders in threes. Some they made; some they didn’t make. But they was consistent with shooting the ball from three-point land, so I wasn’t surprised that they stayed true to their game each and every playoff series.”
The Warriors trailed Memphis and Cleveland 2-1 in each series but rallied to win three straight games both times.
“They didn’t get down, they didn’t get rattled,” Hardaway said. “They game-planned and carried the game plan out. Each game was a different game. They started double-teaming LeBron and made him throw some bad passes. They made LeBron play team basketball and made his other teammates try to beat them.”
They couldn’t, and in the end, Hardaway thought Steve Kerr was the difference.
“Steve Kerr came in there and he tweaked some little things that Mark Jackson already had in place, but he tweaked some things and made the guys understand what they needed to do more of,” Hardaway said. “I think he made Draymond Green more of a vocal leader on that team. They knew that his background, his toughness, defense, (grittiness) – just going out there grinding – that’s what Draymond Green has done. He’s an all-purpose forward.”
Switching gears a bit, Hardaway was asked about rumors that his son, Tim Hardaway Jr., will be traded from the Knicks to the Pistons. Is there any truth to that?
“There’s no truth to that,” Hardaway said. “No truth at all to that. It’s just rumors. A lot of rumors happen (around this time). There’s a ton of rumors about somebody’s going to get traded here, somebody’s going to get traded there. It’s totally untrue right now, and that’s all I can tell you. Everybody’s been calling me. I’ve been telling them the same thing: It’s not going to happen. I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t know who said it. But that’s not true.”