Tim Hardaway inducts his legendary crossover into the Hall of Fame — Andscape
Isiah Thomas was widely considered the best dribbler in the NBA during his heyday in the 1980s as he moved the basketball around like a yo-yo. But even the Detroit Pistons icon learned something new when he watched a high school student from his hometown of Chicago named Tim Hardaway use the crossover dribble for the first time.
About 40 years later, Tim Hardaway Sr. enters the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday after a distinguished career in the NBA and in college. The point guard is best known for revolutionizing with his “Two-Step UTEP” crossover move that has become a staple in the NBA and on basketball courts around the world.
“In Chicago, I was known for dribbling between the legs,” Thomas told Andscape. “And then I saw Tim when he was in high school at a Christmas holiday tournament which I came back to as a special guest. Not only did Tim have the crotch, but he added a crossover to it. We’ve all played with the crossover, but none of us have made it an essential part of your move.
“When Tim would punch you between the legs and come back and give you the crossover, he had so much style and flair with it. Not only was it such a hard move to keep, but it was very pretty. He had moxie and attitude and confidence to go with it He takes the name and crown of “King of Crossover” Allen Iverson came in and had a different stutter step crossover But the crossover of Hardaway is a staple in everyone’s moves right now.
Hardaway is 18th on the NBA’s all-time assists list with 7,095. The 13-year NBA veteran has played on five NBA All-Star teams and was selected to an All-NBA team five times. However, Hardaway’s crossover is his signature and will last for many years to come.
“People understood my game and what I brought to it,” Hardaway said. “The crossover will never die out. People are always trying to do my crossover. When I see them doing it and they don’t finish it or they dribble it out of bounds, I’m like, ‘You have to work. My legacy will be there, and people will recognize me for years to come…
“The crossover made a big mark on the NBA. It is an unstoppable movement.
While Chicago knew Hardaway’s crossover dribble, the basketball world learned of it when he played for the University of Texas at El Paso from 1985 to 1989. They dubbed him the “two-stroke Texas.” “.
So what was Hardaway’s motivation for creating his famous crossover?
“If you can perfect it, you can get into any space you want on the pitch and make a play for your team by shaking your man. It was a move created by me to get to the basket or create for my teammates,” said Hardaway, who the Warriors selected with the 14th overall pick in the 1989 draft.
Hardaway’s most notable part of his NBA career was during his first six seasons with the Warriors, where he played with the famed “Run TMC” trio that included Hall of Famers Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond. Hardaway averaged 19.8 points, 9.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.95 steals in 422 career games with the Warriors. His assists per game are still the best in the franchise. The 6-foot guard also averaged 17.7 points, 8.2 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 867 career games with the Warriors, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers .
A really nervous Hardaway was named to the Hall of Fame after being passed over five times.
“I was afraid to answer the phone, to tell you the truth,” Hardaway said, while shooting an NBA season preview commercial in Los Angeles recently. “I had been rejected five times before. I was shaking. But after the third or fourth ring, I picked up. A [Hall of Fame official] called and said, “I’ve had better news than the previous times. I want to congratulate you on achieving the 2022 Hall of Fame.’
“I was like, ‘Man, this is awesome!’ From there, for the next hour and a half, it was just crying. My wife, my parents, my kids, my brother. It was just tears of joy.”
Warriors star Stephen Curry’s father, Dell Curry, played against Hardaway Sr. in the NBA, and now the former plays against Hardaway Jr., who plays for the Mavericks. Hardaway Sr.’s dribbling skills influenced the reigning NBA Finals MVP.
“I always knew it was only a matter of time before he got into the Hall of Fame,” Stephen Curry told Andscape. “There are a lot of players in the league that I grew up watching who jumped off the screen based on their style. I didn’t really care about their stats. It was more just the impact of them watch it play and develop a love for basketball.
“He’s up there on that list of guys. The way he played had a lasting impact and was worthy of the Hall of Fame. It’s pretty awesome to know that he has a son in the league now, and he’s still recognized.
Added New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum, who regularly uses a crossover dribble: “His crossover is something a lot of players are modeling today. He is one of the original crossover pioneers. A real game changer.
Jamal Crawford, whose Twitter account is @JCrossoverrecalled the first time he saw Hardaway unleash his signature move.
“I remember the first time I saw him hit Byron Scott with the playoff move against the Lakers,” Crawford told Andscape. “It was devastating! He’s an original, and the movement he brought to the game will outlive us all.
Hardaway Sr.’s No. 10 jersey was retired by the Heat and UTEP. Becoming a Hall of Famer could also put him in a position to have his jersey retired by the Warriors.
“It’s about getting to the Hall of Fame. Let’s get this over with first. So let’s see this,” Hardaway said, after having his jersey retired by the Warriors.
Years before he became an NBA star, Jason Kidd had the privilege of playing pickup games as a high school star at Alameda College (California) this summer against Hardaway, Mullin and former NBA star Gary Payton. The Dallas Mavericks coach still remembers the challenge of dealing with Hardaway’s crossover during his teenage years.
“As a kid you always knew the crossover, the speed and the low dribble,” said Kidd, also a Hall of Famer. “You never wanted to be on the other side of guarding it. I never wanted to get beat up by him because it was such a mean move when he leaned to one side and then the other. You just wanted to be able to make sure you weren’t embarrassed…
“So that was a game changer. When we talk about crossovers, everyone always talks about AI [Iverson]. But it all started with Timmy and the crossover he did at Golden State.
Like Kidd, Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy also learned about Hardaway’s crossover while playing high school and college basketball in the Bay Area. The former University of Hawaii star said he worked hard on the speed and control of his crossover because of Hardaway.
Handy described the future Hall of Famer’s crossover as a revolutionary move that influenced him and today’s youth.
“The ‘Two-Step UTEP’ was a revolutionary move,” Handy told Andscape. “It changed the game in a lot of ways in terms of guards attacking defenders. Tim was the first to really use the crossover in this way, and it was unstoppable. Anytime a player has a signature move named after them, you know it’s a game-changer.