Tim Hardaway says Run TMC ‘ahead of our time’ in Hall of Fame speech

Hardaway says Run TMC ‘ahead of our time’ in HOF speech originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

A little over 19 years since his last NBA game, former Warriors great Tim Hardaway was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday.

“A kid from the east side of Chicago who made it all the way to Springfield, Massachusetts,” Hardaway said as he opened his nearly 11-minute speech. “Incredible.”

That roughly 900-mile journey from Carver Military Academy High School in Illinois to Springfield was well-earned by Hardaway, who was part of the Warriors’ iconic Run TMC trio with Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond.

As Hardaway stood at the podium Saturday, Mullin and Richmond were seated on his left. Fellow Hall of Famers and Chicago natives Isiah Thomas and Yolanda Griffith were on Hardaway’s right. He acknowledged Thomas and Griffith individually, but when he got to his former running mates, he addressed them together.

“Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond. Run TMC. Legendary, baby. We were legendary,” Hardaway said. “When I came into the NBA, those two guys taught me everything, how to be a pro, how to take care of myself, and they would ask me ‘Tim, how great do you really want to be?’ See, Mully and Rock, they made me who I am today. And Run TMC, man, we were ahead of our time. Chris, Mitch, you will always be family to me. We did everything together during our time with the Warriors. I cherish those years. I cherish our friendship.”

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Run TMC holds a special place in the hearts of Warriors fans, and Hardaway recently told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole that if the trio hadn’t been broken up, they could have led Golden State to an NBA title.

Hardaway was selected No. 14 overall by the Warriors in the 1989 NBA Draft out of UTEP and spent the first five and a half seasons of his career with Golden State before being traded to the Miami Heat in 1996.

The 6-foot point guard was a First-Team All-Rookie selection and made three straight NBA All-Star teams while with the Warriors. In 422 games with Golden State, Hardaway finished with 3,926 assists (third all-time in franchise history) and 8,337 points.

The man responsible for bringing Hardaway to the Warriors, Don Nelson, got a shoutout from Hardaway towards the end of his speech.

“And my first NBA head coach, Don Nelson,” Hardaway said. “He lied to every team and said my knees were shot so I would fall to the Warriors with the 14th pick and he drafted me. Great job Nellie. I appreciate you.”

Before his induction into the Hall of Fame, Hardaway was widely considered one of the best natural point guards in NBA history. His crossover move was iconic — so much so that he busted it out when his parents put the Hall of Fame jacket on him on Friday. He’s 18th all-time in NBA history with 7.095 career assists.

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It might have taken longer than expected, but now Hardaway truly can be considered one of the greatest players of all time. The plaque in Springfield cements it.

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