Tim Hardaway Jr. had harsh words for the New York Knicks on Monday. He doesn’t understand why the team gave up on him and Kristaps Porzingis.
As a result, the Knicks re-signed Hardaway to a sizeable contract in 2017. After bringing him back, the wing was dumbfounded that the Knicks would trade him away again.
“Yeah, it’s mind-blowing and it’s kind of weird when you go back to a team and they trade you again,” he said to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “So it’s weird but at the same time you have to move forward.”
Although many Knicks fans were happy to see Hardaway go, he never really had an opportunity to see what could have been. He and Kristaps Porzingis had suffered through debilitating injuries that limited their time together. Hardaway feels that he and KP never had the time to build something special in New York.
“I let them know we definitely had something good going here my first time back with KP and myself in the lineup at the same time. Then I got injured, then he got injured. And then it kind of went downhill from there,” Hardaway said Monday “I let them know what we had was special and I really think they didn’t give us an opportunity to have KP. That’s what I told them. But it is what it is. We move forward.”
Whether or not Hardaway and Porzingis would have turned the Knicks into a contender will forever be a mystery. The Knicks certainly weren’t in the wrong for making this trade. The NBA is a business and they made the decision to move in another direction. Hardaway doesn’t sound happy with the decision, but he sounds ready to live with it.
But the way the Knicks handled the situation is a bad look for the organization.
“I found out from my agent. I didn’t find out from them at all,” he said. “Just goes to show.”
That’s not fair to Hardaway. He deserved to at least hear from the organization after the trade. Hardaway stepped up as a leader in New York. He never backed down from tough questions from the media or a challenge on the court. Of course, he won’t go down as an all-time Knick, but he deserved better.
One moment sticks out regarding Hardaway’s presence in the locker room. When second-year guard Frank Ntilikina was preparing for a media swarm after a DNP. Hardaway stepped up just to let the 20-year-old know he had his back.
This was a small thing as reporters circled Ntilikina in the locker room, but it was noticeable.
“Leave my man Frank alone dog!” -Hardaway
Frank was preparing to answer tough questions about his DNP.
— Danny Small (@dwsmall8) December 2, 2018
The decision to trade Hardaway could work like a charm for the Knicks if they land a big fish (or two) in free agency. But let’s not forget that THJ gave it his all in New York and the lack of success had more to do with major injuries than anything else.