Tim Hardaway Sr. Talks Michael Jordan, Space Jam, Allen Iverson, More in B/R AMA

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

Former NBA player Tim Hardaway Sr. is interviewed by the media during the introduction of his son and New York Knicks first round draft pick Tim Hardaway Jr. at the Madison Square Garden training center in Greenburgh, N.Y.,  Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
Louis Lanzano/Associated Press

Former NBA guard Tim Hardaway Sr. participated in a Q&A on the B/R app Thursday, discussing Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Space Jam, among other topics.

Here is a full transcript of his Q&A session.


@Steve_Perrault: What was your most memorable moment going up against Michael Jordan?

I played against MJ in the summer league in Chicago. We were supposed to win this summer league tournament. This one team had MJ……We had four NBA guys. Myself, Nick Anderson, Byron Irvin. Frederick Hughes, Donald Reese. We were going to beat them but they brought out four pros, it went into double overtime. We all was in college. MJ asked Craig who was defending me. 'You can't stick him?' I said to MJ 'No Mike, he can't stick me. Why don't you stick me?' and he walked away to the bench and didn't say nothing. We lost in double overtime but I had like 60 points. In the NBA there were memorable moments when he scored 50 of us. There was one time, MJ was going through this horrible shooting slump, one for his last 30 from three. Don Nelson said we'll sag off on him, then MJ went and scored eight threes in that game. You have to keep him in a slump, don't let him burst out of it.


@esmith80: Who has the better sover? You or Allen Iverson?

No question my crossover was better than his. I didn't carry, you were never ready for it, you couldn't get ready for it. He said before, he carried all the way to the HOF. You could call a carry though on Kevin Durant, you could even call it on Magic Johnson. It just depends on what referee you have.


@drew_br: What's your favorite memory from the Space Jam pick up games? Do you wish you could have been in the movie?

Yep I went up there. There were some great games, hard and rigorous. You call a bad foul, you weren't getting that foul. We were playing out there and they had to call referees in. It was tough and it was hard. Sometimes if you didn't win you'd stay off the court for two or three games. It was an exclusive group. Reggie Miller, Magic, Barkley, Hakeem, David Robinson, Michael, Scottie. Everyone came out there to play, you would stay a week and just played. It was some good games.


@BLIP14: What was your favorite memory as a Miami Heat?

Game 7 of course against the Knicks. We are battling in Game 7, whoever wins this game is going to the ECF. Zo was in foul trouble, we came to the bench. I said let me take over the game and put the team on my back. Best game I ever played in my Heat career.


@Steve_Perrault: What was your takeaway from the Alonzo Mourning-Larry Johnson fight at MSG?

It had been going on all series, from the first jump ball. They were trying to rattle Zo and it took its toll. There was bad blood from being teammates in Charlotte. When I saw Van Gundy, I thought he could hurt Zo. His guys thought it was Zo's fault. First of all, it was very, very dangerous for both parties. It fared out well that no one got hurt. 


@maverickprince: What is the best Pat Riley story you got?

I got about 20-30 of those. He talks about different things that's going on in your life and then he says 'but it only comes down to one thing, come together as a team and we all go out there doing it at the same time. We all can do it if we all believe.' After the game, I think it was in Chicago, he stuck his head in a bucket of cold water—'I told you we could do it, I knew that you guys would go out and do it, I promised you that I'd stick my head in this cold ice bucket if we won.' When he came out, his face was so red, I don't think he knew it was gonna be that cold. He had so many emotional, energetic stories that if you wasn't ready to play after them stories, I don't know where your heart and mind was at.


@mjones175: The pace of play is much different now vs. when you played—how do you think your game would fit in today's NBA?

Man I'd be God. There is no hand-checking or getting beaten down. We used to beat each other up in the '90s. Some of these guys couldn't play in the '90s, they are too soft. We used to play physical. If you look at the last three days of playoff basketball, the refs have changed their way of calling games. In the first eight games, they were calling touchy fouls. But now the game has become more physical. A lot of these guys are crying to refs instead of just playing with the physicality. We were way more physical. A flagrant foul now isn't even a foul then. I understand they want to get away from people getting hurt or fouling each other. That's just the way it is. I was watching the game last and Doc said my son didn't get fouled and I'm saying Lou Williams doesn't get that call.


@dad: When did you know your son had what it takes to be in the NBA?

I was worried about him growing when he was like in 8th grade, I didn't think he was going to grow. Doctors said your son is going to be like 6'5" if you can just help his game fit his style of growth. The doctors said trust us and then he started growing. I started seeing the maturity and the change in how he is talking, acting and approaching the game. When he got to his senior year, I said if he knows who he is and that he knows he has 'It' he will make it to the NBA. I never stressed it, never said he was going to make it. I used to take him in when we would play against NBA players and I'd tell him go do your thing and learn from it and take it to Michigan. After his freshman year in college, I said he could make the NBA.


@Diq: Do you agree that the Miami Heat are best team built for the bubble?

No question. I said if Butler can step up and at the right time step and put this team on his back. Start taking over games with his leadership. Now it's time for him to step up. He can't have 10 points here, he needs to come and score like the superstar he is. He needs to carry this team and show them how to take it to the next level. You got a bunch of guys, Dragic, Robinson. Dragic needs to help too, if he can stay healthy. He's essentially coming off the bunch, but if he is healthy, not crying to referees, they are going to be tough. I think they could make it to the ECF.


@ko8eMentality24: Who's your favorite Heat player of the last 20 years?

Dwyane Wade, Chi-Town. He's from Chicago, I'm from Chicago!


@AGMHeatLifer: What player currently on the Heat would you have loved to play with?

Bam and I'd say Duncan Robinson.


@justmemes: Who was the funniest guy in the locker room

Tom Tolbert, no question. He kept the locker room live, he kept it funny. He kept us off the edge when the coach was on us.


@vstax: what was your welcome to the league moment?

My first year, first game as a rookie. We playing Utah in the preseason. At UTEP. The team is warming up, so they tell me to lead them out. I run all the way out, I'm not even thinking...I'm loving it, the crowd is going to be live! I ran out there and the Jazz started laughing. And my teammates weren't with me. I hear the PA guy say: 'Your…..Tim Hardaway!' I was like 'awww you son of guns.' I just went to half court and raised my hands up and the crowd gave me a standing O. Luckily it was at UTEP where I just finished my career. But when I ran out and I was by myself I was embarrassed.


@Steve_Perrault: Favorite kicks?

The Air Bakins. They were red and black, they were light. When I was with the Heat, those were the best shoes that I had. They felt great. They went very well with the red Heat uniforms.