Tim Hardaway Jr. was taken with the 24th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday by the New York Knicks. Shortly after he was selected, Hardaway spoke with media on a conference call. The former Michigan standout talked about what the past six weeks have been like, his workout with the Knicks, and how it feels to be playing in the Big Apple.
What was your reaction to the events tonight?
“First off, I just want to thank God. Me and Trey, we’ve been working our whole entire lives and it was great to just get the opportunity to get picked with him and get picked in the first round and go down in Michigan history. It’s a great opportunity. Thanks to coach Beilein and his staff for getting us here. We really appreciate it.”
What set you apart the last six weeks that took you from a second-round pick to getting picked by in the first round by the Knicks?
“I was just trying to be as consistent as possible, just trying to show everyone that I’m a consistent ballplayer. I can handle the ball, rebound the ball, push on the break when we’re doing 3-on-3 full-court drills. Just trying to make right decisions. That’s what I was focused on and it worked out for me.”
What was your visit like with the Knicks?
“It was just a feeling that I had as I went through the workouts, went in there and played my best. It was a great group of guys that we had. It was myself, Pierre Jackson, Tony Snell, Glen Rice Jr., C.J. Leslie, Phil Pressey. It was a very talented group that we had and we were just out there competing. That’s all I can say.”
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What do you think of your dad’s history with the Knicks?
“I don’t mind it at all. I’m just happy to be part of the New York Knicks franchise and I’m just happy to be a part of this draft process. It was a long six weeks and I don’t care what team I’m playing for as long as I get an opportunity out there.”
What did you think of the reaction on TV? Did you see Spike Lee?
“(Laughs) I saw Spike Lee’s shirt at the end of it. I was just happy to see everybody’s reaction. My friends were telling me on Twitter that a lot of people in New York really wanted me to go there and it just happened to work out.”
What was your father’s reaction when he found out it was New York?
“All he said was, ‘I love you. I’m a huge fan of yours no matter what. I don’t care about the history I had with the Knicks. I’m your number one fan, I’m going to be rooting for you whether you were with the Knicks or not.’ That’s what I love about him, and that’s a great feeling I had when he told me that.”
Do you see an opportunity with the Knicks, given that J.R. Smith is opting out of his contract?
“It’s going to be a really good fit as long as I go out there and progress with the veterans and see what they want me to do. I’m just going to go out there and play my best basketball and I just hope I can go out there and help the team out.”
What does you and Trey Burke both being selected in the first round mean for Michigan basketball?
“It means a lot. It means the world to us. We really wanted this opportunity. Coach Beilein and his coaching staff did a great job of preparing us for this moment. We’re just excited, being able to come out here and not just show our talent but show our abilities out there on the court.”
What’s your schedule?
“I go to New York tomorrow. I leave at 8am. I think I’ll get in at 11. That’s about it.”
Who did you watch the draft with?
“My family and friends. There were about 50 people here. It meant a lot. … At a restaurant in Miami.”