Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Tim Hardaway, Class of 2010

Back in early May, I conducted a poll asking our readers to vote on who should be inducted into the inaugural Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame class, and you responded very well, registering almost 1,000 votes. According to the rules of the HoF (based on the Baseball Hall of Fame process), a player had to be named on 75% of ballots to be inducted, which left us with two players (2 point guards, actually): Kevin Johnson, and Tim Hardaway. KJ was honored in July, so now it’s time for the original king of the killer crossover…

Timothy Duane “Tim Bug” Hardaway
Position: Point Guard
Height: 6-0 ▪ Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: September 1, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois
High School: Carver in Chicago, Illinois
College: University of Texas at El Paso
Draft: Selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round (14th pick, 14th overall) of the 1989 NBA draft.

FBHOF Resume: Outstanding fantasy seasons: 1991-93, 1997-98. Second-best fantasy PG in the NBA in 1992, 3rd-best in ’91 & ’97. Top-5 in ’93 & ’98 as well. Best categories were scoring, assists, & 3-point field goals. Also top 8 among PG in steals 6x and rebounds 5x. Double-double machine, but hurt by the shooting percentage categories. A viable fantasy starter in 8 of his first 10 NBA seasons, before injuries finally took their toll. Owner of arguably the best crossover dribble of all time; froze many a defender with fabled “UTEP Two-Step”. Led Miami to Conference Finals in 1997, but had otherwise forgettable, injury-plagued playoff career. Won gold at 2000 Olympics as a bit player. NBA Live 98 cover athlete. Volatile personality manifested itself in emotional on-court leadership, as well as incidents like a TV-tossing tantrum in 2002 and homophobic comments in 2007. Probably didn’t play at an all-time great level long enough to be in the real Hall of Fame, but a no-brainer pick for the FBHoF.

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About Neil Paine

I work for Sports-Reference.com. I've been a freelance writer for ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and Basketball Prospectus.

Posted on December 15, 2010, in Fantasy Basketball, Hall of Fame, Insane ideas, Just For Fun and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Love Tim Bug’s game. Killer Crossover. 3 point shot. etc. But he’s an unapologetic homophobe, and I can’t get behind that kind of guy getting in the Hall. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ignorant. I know that it’s a pro-athletic HOF, and probably 80% of those guys are at least biased if not bigoted toward the gay community – but at least they have the good sense not to run their mouths about it.

  2. I hate what Hardaway said in 2007 — it was very disappointing to find out that one of the best PGs from my favorite era felt that way. But apparently he has taken steps to make amends for his behavior:

    http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/tim_hardaways_changing_heart_on_gay_rights

    Besides, I never liked the concept of holding personal issues against a player when it came to the HoF. IMO, playing ability and especially historical importance should outweigh any concerns about character. I liken it to when Time Magazine selected Ayatollah Khomeini (and probably should have selected Osama Bin Laden) as their annual Person of the Year, because the criterion is the person who (for better or for worse) has done the most to influence the events of the year. The same should go for the Hall of Fame — if you can’t tell the history of a sport (for better or for worse) without including someone, that person should be a Hall of Famer. For instance, how can you tell the history of baseball without Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds? Are we just to pretend the 90s and 00s never happened?

    As I step down from my soapbox, though, I don’t think Hardaway should make it under that criterion. He had maybe 2 MVP-type seasons, only 5 ASG-type seasons, had a prime interrupted by injuries, and made very little impact in the playoffs. But because he doesn’t belong in the real Basketball Hall of Fame, that’s a major feather in his cap as a member of the Fantasy Basketball HoF. One of the important factors there is being really good, but not quite good enough for the actual Hall.

  3. “But he’s an unapologetic homophobe, and I can’t get behind that kind of guy getting in the Hall.”

    I think there’s more of a case to keep Tim Hardaway out of a real HOF based upon this than the Fantasy HOF.

    A Fantasy HOF, I would think, is dispassionately concerned with production only; the RL HOF is (rightly) concerned about what it looks like to the rest of the real world. I would think Springfield wants to honor guys who, if they aren’t exemplars of human decency, can at least keep their ugly side to themselves.

    If Hardaway had a bona-fide shot at Springfield, I imagine think the powers that be would keep him out because, really, how would it look to have such a flagrant homophobe in the Hall?

  4. Tim Bug was amazing to watch. Run TMC (Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullen) were high octane, and Timmy drove the ship. Would love to see him in D’Antoni’s system.

    He was also ridiculously clutch. Was at a game in Minnesota in 2001 (maybe 2002 actually). Dallas was in town, and they fell behind by 22 or so. Nash and Finley went on a tear in the 4th quarter and brought them back to 5 down with two possessions left. Final two possession? Back to back 3 pointers by Timbug. Win Dallas.

    Now that was a long time ago, and I was drinking giant beers all night, so I may be embellishing somewhat, but I do know that it was big deficit, and Timmy won it on back to back treys. That’s clutch, Neil. Don’t fight it.

  5. You can change the way you think, but you can’t change the way you feel.

  6. I think this is the game you’re talking about, Jason:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200112180MIN.html

    “Finley scored seven straight points to tie the game and Hardaway drilled a pair of go-ahead jumpers as the Dallas Mavericks stormed back from a 22-point deficit for a 107-103 victory over the Timberwolves.”

    Half of clutch performance is probably a total lack of conscience about shooting, so it’s no wonder Hardaway made his share of big shots (and we just don’t remember the ones he missed).

  7. Btw, that’s some pretty damn good memory for a game 9 years ago (almost to the day), especially considering the alcohol.

  8. Hardaway’s homophobia was almost worth it, seeing as how it led to George Takai’s utterly hilarious response to it.

  9. He was a wrecking ball of hoops.

  10. Hardaway was just saying what alot of players think; these are athletes, not members of the United Nations. And he’s apologized since, so who cares? Great player; not as good as KJ, but pretty darn good.

  11. That’s probably the one, Neil. I lived in Minneapolis one winter (’01-’02 – by the way, if you’re going to spend 7 months in Minnesota, I recommend the spring / summer / fall combo and not the way I did it) and went to a few games that are all blurred together. I remember a game where KG had 20+ boards as well and thought it was the same one, but it could easily have been another night.

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