His skills made him the envy of Knick fans and the fact that he played for the Miami Heat made Knick fans hate him more. But there was no denying his talent, Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin formed “Run TMC” (the initials of the players’ first names and a play on the name of the popular rap group Run DMC). As part of the Warriors’ attack, Hardaway was responsible for leading Run TMC’s fast break, displaying his excellent passing and one-on-one skills to complement Richmond’s slashing and Mullin’s shooting.
Hardaway averaged a career high 23.4 points a game in the 1991–1992 season, as the Warriors fell in the first round of the playoffs to the Seattle SuperSonics. The following season Hardaway averaged a career high 10.6 assists a game to get with his scoring average of 21.5, but the Warriors did not make the playoffs and would not return to postseason action for the remainder of Hardaway’s tenure with the team. As a Warrior, Hardaway made the NBA All-Star Game three straight years, and a knee injury kept him out of the entire 1993–1994 season. He reached 5,000 points and 2,500 assists faster than any other NBA player except Oscar Robertson. Hardaway played for the Warriors until the middle of 1995–96 season when he was traded to the Miami Heat along with Chris Gatling in exchange for Kevin Willis and Bimbo Coles.
As member of the Miami Heat Hardaway started 28 games to finish the season, averaging 17.2 points a game with 10 assists. Miami made the playoffs but were swept in the first round by the 72 win Chicago Bulls. The following season was a huge success for Miami and for Hardaway, as he finished 4th in voting for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, was selected to the All-NBA First Team as Miami won a franchise record 61 wins. Hardaway started in 81 games, averaging 20.3 points, 8.6 assists, while placing fourth in the league with 203 three-point baskets. He also played in the 1997 NBA All-Star Game, scoring 10 points in 14 minutes. In the playoffs, Hardaway averaged 26 points a game as the Heat defeated the Orlando Magic in the first round in 5 games, and then defeated the New York Knicks in 7 games in the semifinals, in which Hardaway scored 38 points in the 7th game.
In the 1997–1998 NBA Season, Hardaway averaged 18.9 points and 8.3 assist per game, and was selected to play in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game. The Heat won 55 games and won the Atlantic Division, but lost to the Knicks in 5 games in the first round of the playoffs. In the lockout shortened 1998–1999 season, Hardaway averaged 17.4 points a game with 7..3 assists, and Miami won the Atlantic Division again but could once again not defeat the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs despite having home court advantage and the Knicks being the 8th seed in the playoffs.
Hardaway’s production slipped in the 1999–2000 season, with Alonzo Mourning and Jamal Mashburn carrying more of the offensive load. Hardaway averaged 13.4 points with 7.4 assists a game, but shot a personal best .367 percent from beyond the three point arc. After playing just 52 games, Hardaway was further limited in the playoffs, as Miami defeated the Detroit Pistons but once again fell to New York in 7 games
Miami would once again fall to the defending champion Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals in 5 games.
Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday spotlights…Cross over king Tim Hardaway.
|1989–1996||Golden State Warriors|
|2006||Florida Pit Bulls|
|2014–present||Detroit Pistons (assistant)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||15,173 (17.3 ppg)|
|Assists||7,095 (8.2 apg)|
|Steals||1,428 (1.6 spg)|