I read an article recently in which Tim Hardaway Sr. stated, with a certain misplaced intensity, that he was watching his son play Purdue not as a father but as a scout for the Miami Heat. Now it is clear that Tim Hardaway Jr. has professional aspirations, and as such, the development of his individual game is important and should be part of his focus while playing college basketball. But having your dad sit in the stands "as a scout" creates what I believe to be an unfair and discomforting environment for a developing player.
It was novel and exciting to see Tim Hardaway Sr. at Michigan games at first. I originally looked at it very similar to Dell Curry watching Seth. Then I started looking a little closer. Dell Curry is decked out in Duke gear, he is a Duke fan because his son plays for Duke. He is cheering for his son, but he is doing with Popcorn in his hand and a Duke hat on his head. Tim Hardaway Sr. does not appear to be a Michigan fan. He does not appear to applaud the effort or performance of the team. He does not even applaud his son's successes with pride. His disposition does not appear to be one of support but of expectation. He gets a lot of screen time, and I don't think I have seen a clip of him where he is not showing visible consternation at a failing of Tim Jr. or an aggressive scowling approval that Tim Jr. has done something "right," done something that a "Hardaway should do."
Tim Hardaway Jr. looked to be having a lot of fun last year. It is easy to have fun when you an overperforming freshman without any expectations than to help Michigan win a game. I saw Tim Hardaway Sr. much less frequently last year, and not at all until Jr. earned a reputation worthy of professional consideration. Tim Jr. is from all reports a good kid, a team oriented player, and a kid that looked to have a lot of fun just playing, just playing for Michigan. He does not appear to be having any fun right now. I think he wants to be playing for Michigan but is playing for Team Hardaway. Playing for Michigan, getting to loose balls is important, scratching and clawing to get to a rebound is important. On Team Hardaway, I don't think these things register the way they should. I think Team Hardaway might be asking a little much of him right now. I think the minute Tim Hardaway Jr. smiles again the shots will start falling, but it is hard to smile when your stat line is more important than the outcome of a game.
Maybe the NBA is going to have to wait, and maybe Tim Sr. should think about buying a Michigan hat and enjoy a game once in a while.