Tim Hardaway Explains Why He Didn’t Pick Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning as Hall of Fame Presenters
Tim Hardaway will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, validating a 15-year career highlighted by his stints with the Golden State Warriors as a member of the famed Run-TMC stable or the Miami Heat. The Heat retired Hardaway’s No. 10, where he did his best work as an NBA hooper, earning three All-NBA nods and two All-Star selections.
Despite his personal and team success in South Beach, Hardaway decided not to ask former Coach Pat Riley or Alonzo Mourning to be his presenters at this Saturday’s Hall of Fame ceremony. That honor will instead go to the figures that fostered his love for the game from before his time in Miami teaming up with Mourning and Riley.
Tim Hardaway explains bypassing Pat Riley, Alonzo Mourning as Hall of Fame presenters. https://t.co/mBJsfMaNHQ No, not a Miami Heat snub, but rather a tribute to those who were there for him at the beginning.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) September 8, 2022
Hardaway’s presenters will be Isiah Thomas (Class of 2000), his Run-TMC teammates Mitch Richmond (’14) and Chris Mullins(’11), longtime friend Yolanda Griffith (’21), and former college coach Nate Archibald (’91).
“There’s one thing I do know I want to tell you; it takes a village to raise a kid; Chicago South Side raised a kid. This is Chicago South Side. This is for them,” Hardaway said of his decision, per Ira Winderman.
“Isiah Thomas, I grew up watching him play, my basketball idol, no question, from the city of Chicago,” Hardaway explained. “Nate Archibald, my college assistant coach, came back to his alma mater and coached me [at Texas-El Paso] and helped me understand. Yolanda Griffith, we went to high school together. We graduated in the same class. And I wanted to acknowledge her as being the first before me and wanted people to understand that. She was a Hall of Famer before me, and she needs to be recognized.”
The choice to bypass Riley, Mourning, and former Coach Don Nelson was difficult. Hardaway knows it and even admitted that he “can’t even mention a lot of people that I want to mention.” As a result, Hardaway’s speech will likely not “mention a lot of people” that he wants to mention.
Instead, the UTEP two-step creator will make a point to mention critical figures during his time in Miami during his HOF media session that’ll be aired on NBA TV.
“I’m sorry, everybody can’t be there,” he said of those standing alongside on stage. “And I’ll tell you this, in my speech, I can’t even mention a lot of people that I want to mention because it’s a lot of us going up this year. So I can’t mention a lot of people I want to mention.”
Hardaway’s Hall of Fame induction class includes four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobli, two-time college Coach of the Year Bob Huggins, sixth-winningest NBA coach George Karl, and veteran NBA ref Hugh Evans. Five-time All-Star Lindsay Whalen, four-time All-Star Swin Cash, and NCAA national champion and former WNBA Coach of the Year Marianna Stanley will be inducted on the woman’s side.
Mourning will attend the HOF ceremony, as well as Coach Erik Spoelstra, GM Any Ellisburg, assistant GM Adam Simon, scouting director and former teammate Keith Askins, and multiple other Heat front office members. Rily will not be able to attend due to a scheduling conflict but heaped heavy praise on Hardaway when he was interviewed for the HOF’s event program that’ll be passed around at the ceremony.
“I had just come from New York, and we had a team that was noted for defense and things of that nature, you know, rough and tumble. I needed to get a point guard, and Tim was available,” Riley said of acquiring Hardaway for the Heat from the Warriors in 1996.
“He was not the explosive, up-and-down-the-court kind of a player. He could keep a team really organized. He was tough as nails, and we were fortunate to have him.”
Hardway’s Hall of Fame induction will begin this Saturday evening.