Departed Knick Tim Hardaway Wasn’t Happy About Phil Jackson’s Final Words

The New York Knicks traded Tim Hardaway, Jr. on draft night to the Atlanta Hawks for a first-round pick (which later turned into Jerian Grant). Phil Jackson explained the trade by saying that Grant was a better fit for the Knicks’ scheme than Hardaway. That did not sit well with Hardaway, and he made his feelings known.

As Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

“Once I heard him say that, all hands on deck now,” Hardaway told reporters Monday at his introductory press conference in Atlanta. “Obviously as a basketball player, you take that to heart. So, it’s time to move on, get better, and when the time comes, the time comes. Right now, it’s all about Atlanta basketball.”

After a decent rookie year, Hardaway regressed severely in his sophomore season. His offense was inconsistent and his defense was often absent. This does seem to be a bit of an overreaction on Hardaway’s part. It’s not necessarily an insult to say that Hardaway isn’t a great fit for the triangle, especially since it’s true. He’s instead better used in a system with less rigidity and more slashing opportunities.

That’s not to say that Hardaway will suddenly blossom into a top-tier guard now that he’s out of New York – there’s a very real possibility that he does just the opposite – but he could develop into a useful contributor to a team with actual direction. But if Hardaway wants to use it as motivation, as any athlete is wont to do with any perceived or actual slight, then more power to him. Let’s just hope that motivation turns into him being a more disciplined player, and not just another gunner.

(Via New York Post)