June 30th, 2013 at 2:58 PM
Hardaway Jr. reflects on Heat - Knicks rivalry, swapping sides
Tim Hardaway Jr. was sitting across from the Miami bench to watch one of the toughest blows in Heat history.
Allan Houston's go-ahead shot with 0.8 seconds left in the deciding Game 5 of a 1999 first-round series is one of the lasting highlights of the fierce playoff rivalry the New York Knicks had with the Heat in the late 1990s. Hardaway's father starred for Miami, works for the Heat now, and on Friday both were reminded again of that shot.
A picture of it hangs in the younger Hardaway's new basketball home. The Knicks took him with the No. 24 pick in the NBA draft.
''It's very ironic,'' his father said at the Knicks' practice facility. ''The years that I played and the rivalry that we had, now it's coming full circle. My son is going to play for the Knicks. I'm very happy for him. It's not about me, it's about him, and it's about him being happy now and I'm happy for him.''
The elder Hardaway was with the Heat when they played the Knicks in four straight postseasons from 1997-00. His name hangs from the rafters in Miami, and he works for the team as a community liaison and scout.
Wearing a blue dress shirt that matched the Knicks' colors, his son seemed comfortable now on the other side.
''It's ironic but not awkward at all,'' Hardaway Jr. said. ''He's happy for me whatever team I went to and that's what a father should do. He should be happy for his son, whatever team it is, whether it's a rivalry or not. So it's a great opportunity.''
Hardaway played three seasons for Michigan, helping the Wolverines reach last season's national championship game, where they lost to Louisville. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 14.3 points for his career.
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