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A Bay Area fan favorite for most of the 1990s, Tim Hardaway played six seasons for the Warriors. One of the best guards in franchise history, Hardaway was selected by the club with the 14th pick of the 1989 NBA Draft. Known for his crossover dribble ("UTEP Two-step"), the 6-foot point guard joined forces with former Warrior greats Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond to form Run TMC, a popular trio that played an up-tempo and high-scoring brand of basketball. Hardaway averaged 19.8 points, 9.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 422 games with the Warriors. He earned first-team All-Rookie honors in 1990 and was a three-time NBA All-Star selection (1991, ’92 & ’93) with Golden State. Warriors.com catches up with Hardaway, who now lives in the Miami area and works as a community liaison with the Miami Heat.
Warriors.com (DotCom):Fans talk about Run TMC to this very day. When you were playing with Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, were you aware that you were part of something really special? Tim Hardaway (TH): Yeah, we knew we were part of something special as we were playing in the great city of Oakland and San Francisco with the Golden State Warriors. We knew there was a lot of tradition there with Nate Thurmond, Al Attles and Rick Barry. We just wanted to continue with the tradition. We had a lot of fun out there trying to keep the tradition going.
DotCom:When you’re playing with guys like that, how much fun is that? TH: When you can rip and run up and down the court like that and either guy that you give the ball to know that they will make a bucket and know that they will make something happen, that’s just great to have in your repertoire.
DotCom:What’s your most fond memory about playing with the Warriors? TH: I have a lot of fond memories. One is the work ethic we came with every night, every day at practice. We wanted each other to excel, wanted the team to win and come together as a group. We wanted to win for the city and the organization. That’s what it was all about and we just had fun doing it. Everybody had a lot of accolades, but we just wanted to go out there and help one another and really just win for the city.
DotCom:What do you remember about playing in front of the Bay Area fans? TH: Fans there are beautiful. I think they are one of the (most) loyal fans in the NBA. The only thing they want you to do is come out there and play as hard as you can. They can take a loss with anybody, but if you don’t play hard they get on you. But if you play hard and give all you can give each and every night there on the court … they will support the team 150 percent. That’s what I love about the Golden State Warriors fans. They love their team.
DotCom:What did you like and what did you dislike about playing for Coach Don Nelson? TH: I love Coach Nelson. He brought me into a situation and made me a focal point of the team and had me run the team with two great superstars in Mitch Richmond and a Hall of Famer in Chris Mullin. I was just appreciative toward him. I think everything started to go when we let Mitch Richmond go to the Sacramento Kings. That was the beginning of the downfall … I love the man. I love what he did for me and helped me out with my career and brought me into a situation where I could excel. I don’t have nothing bad to say about him.
DotCom:We lost one of the great characters ever in Warriors history last year in Manute Bol with his passing. Give me a funny moment or a story about Manute because he kind of fit in with the craziness of that team. TH: I first came there and I got to know him and stuff and I said, “Manute, can I get my number?” He said “It’s going to cost you $500,000.” I said “$500,000?!?! That’s my whole salary.” He said, “Exactly.” I said, “Well never mind, I’ll just take No. 5.”
DotCom:What was it like to watch your son play in the NCAA Tournament? TH: Very nerve-wracking. I’m very proud. He exceeded my expectations tremendously. I thought he was just going to get sparing minutes here and there, but he went out and played 30 minutes. He’s led his team in scoring quite a few times. Sometimes, he’s put the team on his back and it shows me that he really cares about the game. He really is a student of the game and he really likes to learn about the game and he really works hard on his game to be the good player that he has become today. Just watching him out there on the basketball court, it makes me proud. I like watching him play. It’s nerve-racking though, don’t get me wrong.
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