Watch your back, Pat Riley, Tim Hardaway is coming for your job.
Well, not exactly. He's willing to wait until you're done, but he still wants it. That's the point.
Yes, sir. That's my goal. That's why I'm here every day. ... Everything is realistic. You just got to believe and make connections.
I always figured myself as a GM because I always put teams together when I was little. I'd put teams together to go out and win eight to 10 games in a row. I was putting my team together, understanding what it takes to go out and win ballgames.
Riley currently serves as both the Heat's team president and GM. Any promotion Hardaway potentially receives would have to come after he stepped down, because let's face it, he's not getting fired. Not after the job he's done.
Which brings us to a rather unsettling question the Miami faithful have had to consider by now: What happens after Riley is good and gone?
The crown jewel of his front-office existence was putting the organization in position to stage a free-agency coup in 2010 and then successfully completing said deed. How do you replace that? Better yet, who would want to?
He spent five-plus seasons with the team as a player and now currently serves as a scout. Judging by his conversation with Tomasson, he's also long dreamed of assuming the position Riley currently holds.
Can't say I personally remember aspiring to be the suit behind NBA championships when I was growing up, but to each their own.
Hardaway speaks of making connections, a social endeavor that requires both charisma and exposure. Already working with one of the league's premier front offices, exposure doesn't figure to be the problem.
Charming prospective employers doesn't seem to be much of an issue either. He had nothing but praise to offer Riley.
"Someday, yes," Hardaway said of there eventually being a GM vacancy in Miami. "But I think for the next, I don't know, two, three, four years, Riley is the person."
And he wasn't done.
Pressed by Tomasson for what he would do until the time to audition for Riley's role arrived, Hardaway said he would "keep learning from one of the best."
Seems Hardaway has flattery down to a science. Common sense also (now) appears to be a strength of his as well.
Largely responsible for the two straight championships the Heat have won, imitating Riley is far from a bad idea. If Hardaway is to ever successfully replace "one of the best," he'll need all the help he can get.