Per Newsday's Barbara Barker, Hardaway struggled with self-doubt after a poor performance in his first game with the then-NBA Developmental League's Canton Charge during the 2015-16 season.
"I was second-guessing myself at the time, thinking about if I really wanted to play," Hardaway said last week prior to a summer-league game. "It was a dark period."
"I was in my room, dark every night, not wanting to talk to nobody, not going out with my friends, not doing anything, not having a great time," he said. "It was a lot of dark nights. ... I kind of was just like disappointed, wanted to get out there, because I just felt I didn't belong. And they sent me back down there about Christmas."
Tim Hardaway Sr. told Barker his son being sent down "was a blessing in disguise.”
"It was a rude awakening and humbling," Hardaway Jr. said. "I have the utmost respect for the guys in the G League because they are battling and trying to make it where you are. If they sense blood or fear in your eyes, they are going to try to take it."
After signing with the Knicks last summer, Hardaway had the most productive season of his career. The 26-year-old set career highs in starts (54), points per game (17.5), rebounds per game (3.9) and assists per game (2.7).