Former NBA star Tim Hardaway Sr. on Michigan

Former NBA star Tim Hardaway Sr. traveled with his son to Ann Arbor last December for Michigan's upset victory over the Duke Blue Devils. Recently he talked to GBW about why he is convinced that John Beilein's program is a good one for his son to be part of.

Sam Webb: Tim (Timothy Hardaway) just said that Michigan was at the top of his list. I want to know what Sr. thinks about Michigan?

Tim Hardaway Sr.: "I think the world of Michigan, and did before Beilein even got there," he continued. "It is a great academic school first of all. They do a lot of great things with their athletes. The basketball program is coming back to life and the football program is too. Beilein this is what his third year there or second?"

Sam Webb: This will be his third year coming up.

Tim Hardaway Sr.: "Yeah this will be his third year. I think he already did some great things with those kids. I don't think the kids believed in him at first, and then through the summer of last year he worked with them. They finally understood his philosophy. I don't think (Beilein) holds anybody back," said Tim Hardaway Sr. "He just wants to excel. He lets all of his ball players play the game of basketball. If you got a (open) jump shot, he wants you to take it. If you don't take it, he is yelling at you. He wants the team to play with confidence. He makes them play the right way. They pass the extra pass. They all dribble good. He just needs some athletes in there. My son is an athlete and he can shoot the ball.

Sam Webb: I was talking to Tim and you feel that he would fit real at Michigan well and that you think they have the best system for him. Why is that?

Tim Hardaway Sr.: "Why is that? Because my son is an all around basketball player. He is not just one dimensional… he can do everything. He can pass, he can shoot, he can dribble, he can go to the hole… he can do a whole bunch of things. He can play good defense, he rebounds the ball, and he is very, very unselfish. He does everything right and that's the way Beilein's system is, do everything right. What I mean by that is, go out there and play the right way, care for your teammates, make the extra pass, work hard on your game. He has the right system for my son."

Sam Webb: Tim was also telling me that he got a chance to talk to one of the greatest Wolverines of all time in Glen Rice. What did Glen have to say to you guys about Michigan?

Tim Hardaway Sr.: "I know Rickey Green personally and I know Cazzie Russell personally. I went to the same high school (Carver High School, Chicago) that Cazzie Russell went to. Rickey Green was a great NBA basketball player and he helped me out with my game tremendously by showing me the ropes, showing me how to play defense, showing me how to be confident. Go out there and play the basketball game the way it's supposed to be played. So I know a couple of guys from Michigan already… I know Glen Rice… and they all got great things to say about the school, no doubt about it. They've all got great things to say about the school. They would love to see (Hardaway Jr.) go there."

Sam Webb: Who are the other schools that are legitimately in the mix?

Tim Hardaway Sr.: "There are a lot of schools in the mix…Kansas State, Florida State, Florida, I think Kentucky has finally come around looking at him. He is getting a couple of calls from Kentucky. He has been getting a couple of calls from Memphis. But Michigan is right up there at the top of the list like he said. I am just impressed (with the Wolverines). I've been watching them all year long, studying them, checking out their game. My son is like a Manny Harris. Manny is a great ballplayer and I think he is going to make the NBA. My son still has a lot to learn. He's still young and he could learn from a Manny and the other teammates there."

Sam Webb: I'm about to ask you a tough question, this is a tough one; there has been word going around that maybe Tim Hardaway Sr. wants to get into college coaching is that true and if so what about the idea of your son playing with you?

Tim Hardaway Sr.: ""I'm not going to put no pressure on my son," Hardaway Sr. said. "I don't want to be a coach to him. I just want to be a dad to him. I've seen how it can tear up a home. It almost tore up ours already because I want him to excel so much. I do want to get into coaching, but now I just want to be a dad to him. If he asks me some questions – if he wants me to go out there and show him some moves, I will. I still go out there and show him moves, show him what he needs to work on, and take him through drills and stuff -- but I'm just a dad to him. But, yes I do want to get into coaching because I have a lot to give to these kids down here. These kids can relate to me and they still want to see me do a crossover, so they can try to study it. I want to get into coaching. It doesn't matter if it's college, NBA or wherever."

Sam Webb: So can Tim Jr. do the UTEP-two-step (Sr.'s patented crossover move)?

Tim Hardaway Sr.: "No, nobody can do it yet. I haven't seen nobody that can do it. I've seen people get close. They do it one time and they come down and try to do it again, they bobble the ball and turn the ball over. I've seen a lot of people get close to it, but nobody has perfected it yet. People still young, as a matter of fact, I saw Kobe (Bryant) do it the other day and he didn't even know he did it. He did it in the first series at home. I was like, oh, there goes the crossover right there, and he didn't even know he did it. He got open and he shot a jump shot. A lot of people that do it don't even know they did it."

Sam Webb: Those were the days. I still remember the days of "Run TMC" (the nickname for Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, & Chris Mullin during their years with the Golden State Warriors).

Tim Hardaway Sr.: "Yes sir. They definitely were."

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