Tim Hardaway Jr.

 

His dad was a five-time NBA All-Star. His jersey hangs in the rafters at American Airlines Arena in Miami.

Saying Tim Hardaway Jr. had a lot to live up to would be an understatement. He grew up in the Miami sunshine with an NBA father in the spotlight. Hardaway Sr. grew up on the south side of Chicago. They had very different lives.

Living in the shadow of his father’s greatness wasn’t a bad thing. The younger Tim had a lot of attention because of the name on the back of his jersey. Recruiting was easier. Playing time was easier. And after his Michigan team was the runner-up in his 2013 junior season, he declared for the draft and was taken by the Knicks.

In the NBA, things weren’t so easy.

His first four years were nothing like his father’s. He bounced from the Knicks to the Hawks and spent a lot of time in the D-league. In 2015, on the bus ride back from one of his worst performances with the Canton Charge, Hardaway Jr. said he was about to give up on basketball and retire.

Big Tim didn’t let that happen. And it’s a good thing he didn’t because Hardaway Jr. is up to something special now.

After a breakout 2016-17 season, the Knicks reunited with their former draft pick and signed him to a 4-year $71 million deal. Some called it the worst contract decision in the NBA. It wasn’t.

This year, Hardaway Jr. is the Knicks' number one option. He’s averaging 23.2 points per game, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Like father, like son(derdog).  

 
Justin Tangnovember2018