He played his college ball at University of Texas El Paso, known as UTEP, so the move by Tim Hardaway, the crossover dribble, was nicknamed “The UTEP Two-Step.”  But Hardaway, originally from Chicago, could do so much more than put the basketball on the floor. The 14th overall pick in the 1989 draft by the Golden State Warriors, Hardaway, reached 5,000 points and 2,500 assists faster than any player in NBA history other than the great Oscar Robertson. At UTEP he won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the best college player 6-feet tall or under. With the Warriors he was the “T” in Run TMC, joining the “M,” Mitch Richmond and “C,” Chris Mullin and now joins them in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. Others laid claim to the crossover, which leaves defenders staggering, but Hardaway, inspired by Pearl Washington, turned it into his signature move. “I had the original killer crossover move,” Hardaway said, “and people are doing my move.” A five-time NBA All-Star before his career ended after the 2003 season with the Indiana Pacers, Hardaway averaged 17.7 points, 8.2 assists and 1.42 steals in his 15 years, the first six of which were with the Warriors.  Hardaway originally was selected to play for “Dream Team II” in the 1994 FIBA Championships but incurred a torn knee ligament. He was picked again in 1998, but at that time an NBA lockout kept league players from competing. Finally, in 2000 he had his chance to play before the world when he made the U.S. Gold Medal Team for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where at age 34 he averaged 5.5 points a game. Kemba Walker, an NBA All-Star, once was asked who he watched and idolized while growing up. “One of my favorites was Tim Hardaway,” said Walker. “I just loved the way he played.”

Narrative by Art Spander