Tim Hardaway Jr. was not necessarily the talk of the New York Knicks offseason, which revolved around finding a way to get Carmelo Anthony off the roster and a way to keep Kristaps Porzingis on it.
The Knicks were successful in completing both objectives before training camp opened, but they also did give Hardaway a huge contract to the tune of a 4-year, $71 million deal.
Many predicted that the team would soon regret that deal, and some fans have already turned on Hardaway and the contract as he has not made a significant leap in production since leaving the Atlanta Hawks.
But Hardaway is a simple man who wants you to know he didn’t make the Knicks give him all that money. Hardaway talked to Slam for a profile in which he said exactly that: it’s not his fault he’s rich at the Knicks’ expense, they came to him.
“I have to use [criticism] as motivation,” he says. “I take it as those are your fans and they’re coming at you with that. It hurts. But at the same time, you can’t harp on that. You have to go out there and show that you deserve what the Knicks offered. At the end of the day, it’s not my fault. They came to me. I knew that if it was something big, I would have to deliver. I’ve been delivering since last season in Atlanta. I feel like I’m confident and capable of getting what I got money-wise and going out there and playing for the team and playing for the franchise and playing for the city.”
Hardaway seems genuinely happy to be back in New York, and the Knicks are off to a surprisingly good start to the season led by Porzingis and Co. So maybe everyone knew what they were doing in New York this summer. It seems to be working out for everyone involved thus far.