Defined by his signature UTEP Two-Step and as a member of the iconic Run TMC trio, Tim Hardaway will be enshrined as a Class of 2022 inductee at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Selected by the Warriors with the 14th overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft, Hardaway’s 13-year NBA journey tipped off with the Dubs. The point guard out of the University of Texas El Paso made his NBA debut in 1989 and remains a beloved member of the Warriors and NBA family to this day.
Hardaway described having “tears of joy” upon learning about his induction as he becomes the final member of the Run TMC trio to be memorialized among fellow NBA greats in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hardaway played six seasons with the Warriors, averaging a career-high 19.8 points and 9.3 assists in 422 games. The five-time NBA All-Star made three All-Star appearances with the Warriors (1991-93) and two additional appearances with the Heat (1997-98). The guard also received NBA All-Rookie First Team honors in his first season (1990).
Hardaway took his talents international in 2000, winning a gold medal for Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
In his 13 cumulative NBA seasons, Hardaway totaled 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons (1990-93, 1994-95). He finished his NBA career with 2,855 rebounds and 7,095 assists. Moreover, his signature crossover has left an everlasting imprint on NBA play as we know it.
Hardaway joined now Hall of Famers Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond in 1989 to form Run TMC, a name inspired by the popular rap group Run DMC of the 1980s and 1990s, using the first initial of each player’s name (Tim, Mitch and Chris). In their first season together, the trio led the NBA in scoring (116.3 points per game).
“People couldn’t stop us. They couldn’t scout us. They didn’t know what we were doing,” Hardaway shared when describing their fast-paced, point-guard dominate offense. The pioneering play-style, later coined ‘small ball’ by former Warriors head coach Don Nelson, became adopted league-wide with its roots commonly seen across today’s NBA landscape.
Along with their revolutionary play, Hardaway remains the Warriors’ franchise leaders in assists per game (9.3).
“There are a lot of players in the league that I grew up watching that jumped off the screen based on their style. I didn’t really care what their stats were. It was more so just the impact of watching them play and building a love for basketball. He is up there on that list of guys,” 2022 NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry shared on Hardaway’s influence.
“The way he played had a lasting impact and was Hall of Fame-worthy. It’s pretty awesome.”
Hardaway’s continued impact on the Warriors remains today, with the franchise releasing Run TMC-inspired Classic Edition jerseys for the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season. The throwback threads resemble the uniforms worn during the trio’s play, featuring upward-slanted ‘Warriors’ script and the old school Golden State Warriors basketball icon on the shorts.
George Karl, former head coach of the Warriors from 1986-88, will also be inducted as part of the 13-member Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2022. After the Warriors went a Western Conference-worst 30-52 in the 1985-86 season, Karl guided the Dubs to the conference semifinals in his first season as Warriors head coach (1986-87). That marked the Warriors’ first playoff appearance in a decade, and perhaps is best remembered for Sleepy Floyd scoring 29 of his 51 points in the fourth quarter of a game against the Lakers.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction will begin at 3 p.m. PST with the enshrinement ceremony starting at 4 p.m. on NBA TV. Dozens of Hall of Famers are expected to be in attendance, with Nate Archibald (1991), Isiah Thomas (2000), Chris Mullin (2011), Mitch Richmond (2014) and Yolanda Griffith (2021) presenting Hardaway for the extraordinary recognition as he becomes forever enshrined in NBA history.