Tim Hardaway Says He Isn't in Basketball HOF Because of Homophobic Comments

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

13 Dec 2000:  Tim Hardaway #10 of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. The Heat defeated the Clippers 94-88.  NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.Mandatory Credit: Harry How  /Allsport
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Tim Hardaway believes the reason he isn't in the Basketball Hall of Fame is because of his words off the court. 

"Well, you know, the reason I'm not in is because of what I said in 2007 about gay people," he told Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype. "That's why I'm not in right now, and I understand it."

Hardaway made headlines with his homophobic comments on Miami sports radio station WAXY-AM over a decade ago.

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known," he told Dan Le Batard (via ESPN). "I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

He also said then that he wouldn't want any gay teammates.

Since then, Hardaway said he understands his mistakes and is trying to change his mindset.

"I hurt a lot of people's feelings and it came off the wrong way and it was really bad of me to say that," he explained. "Since then, I've turned a wrong into a right. ... I'm trying to do what's right, supporting gay people and transgender people. I want people to understand [what they go through] and understand them as people."

It is unknown how much his previous comments have affected his status as a Hall of Famer, but he has been a finalist for the honor five different times.

On the court, the 1989 first-round pick earned five All-Star selections and ranks 16th all-time with 7,095 career assists. His average of 8.2 per game is 13th, ahead of Hall of Fame point guards like Bob Cousy and Tiny Archibald.

He also averaged 17.7 points per game in his career totaling 15,373 points scored across 14 seasons.

Hardaway does have a good argument toward inclusion, although he would be far from a shoo-in even without any off-court controversy.