Tim Hardway was halfway to what formally became a career in the Hall of Fame on Saturday, and suddenly the question arose as to whether he would have enough of the rest of the fight.
Pat Riley, Alonso Morning and Miami Heath come in and take off their gloves.
The rest of the story can now be told in September in Springfield, Massachusetts, when Hardway followed Riley and Maring to the top sports shrine.
“We put the Miami Heat on the map and made it the way Pat Riley wanted the Miami Heat to be,” said New Orleans’ Hardway Sun Sentinel, where he was officially named the Basketball Memorial at the four NCAA Final Saturday. Naismith Hall. 22 Class of Glory. “It started when I was exchanged there in February ’96.”
It was also when Hardway, after his success at Run TMC along with Mitch Richmond (“M”) and Chris Malin (“C”), found himself on the bench on the bench of Golden State Warriors coach Rick Adelman, some left to wonder whether at 29 years Hardway has passed its course of playful elite level.
Enter Riley and then-Heat general manager Randy Pfund, who saw that anger could be directed at what would become Heat’s multi-year playoff.
“It,” Hardway told Sun Sentinel before his media session in New Orleans, “was just Pat Riley’s belief that I can still play, Pat Riley and Randy Pfanda that I can still play that in I still have a lot left in the tank. “
Only despite the flashes and thorns that Hardway exhibited in his best days under coach Don Nelson, Riley was looking for more fighting and roaring.
Even now, it elicits the experienced laughter of 55-year-old Hardaway.
“That’s how I grew up in Chicago,” Hardway said. “So I grew up on the south side. We get really ugly and we go outside and just play. And we can talk about a bunch of things and go and play. And when I saw that I had a chance to come to Miami, I told Zoe, “He needs to trade for me.” And I knew what I could do.
“I can play both ways. I can play disgusting, I can play, slap you, knock you off your feet. So I needed to turn not into this, but into that. It wasn’t a switch I had to turn. I said, “It’s cool. Anyway, I play like that. That’s how we play Chicago every day. So it was not new to me. “
However, there were heavy stains between the wayward Hardway and the demanding Riley, at one point Hardway’s salary was tied to weekly weigh-ins.
In retrospect, it was the coach who made the strong-willed player stronger.
“I don’t think he really knew how much I had in the tank and how good I would be when I got back in shape,” Hardway said. “I think he was openly amazed at what I could do and how I could do it, and my basketball IQ that runs his team and runs his system.
“He really understood, ‘I have something here,’ and allowed me to be an engine like Don Nelson, allowing me to start an engine at Golden State.”
Formerly a finalist in the selection, Hardway admitted that his anti-gay comments during a radio interview in 2007 took his expectations into account.
Meanwhile, he noted not only to express remorse but also to work on the education of others, as he himself came to be enlightened.
“I am happy that we can forgive,” he said. “I am happy that we can give people a second chance. I think about it and I really do, I just don’t say that, I think about that comment every day.
“And I always want to make amends, but I also want to make a difference in people’s lives every day. And, yes, it made me a better person. It made me become a better parent. It made me a better husband. I changed my mind about many things. “