Hardaway(s) and Expectations

Submitted by ijohnb on February 6th, 2012 at 9:40 AM

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.  



February 6th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

If this is the case (only saying this because I haven't been paying attention), then this is too bad for both of them. Jr. is missing out on having a supportive father who is there for him no matter what. And Sr. is missing out on a better relationship with his son.The world is a harsh, critical place. Your family - and especially your parents - shouldn't add to that. 


February 6th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

that Hardaway, Sr. was at at least one game as a scout, and that he is there WORKING on several occasions. Also, it has been widely reported that Hardaway Sr. dogged Timmy like crazy as a young man to the point that it damaged their relationship. That's the context here, and it is not pretty. The OP sounds a number of important notes, especially in questioning whether this may be impacting Tim's play this year--seems QUITE possible.

I have seen H. Sr. applauding Timmy in the stands, FWIW. But I think it's a lot of pressure on the kid, and it may not disappear--especially at this stage--if his dad isn't in the stands. I think that Hardaway, St. means well; admitting that he f'ed up with regard to Tim early suggests he has faced this to some real degree. But when I first heard about him scouting Timmy I thought that it was a terrible move. And I think that most educators and child development experts would agree.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

Wow dude.  You can tell all that by the few random shots they put on screen of THJ's dad during a game.  Your telepathic powers are great my son.  All I see is a father watching his son play a game (and God bless him by the way for taking the time and spending the money to travel to each game it seems) and supporting him with his presence.

I think Tim Jr's "appearing to not have any fun this year" has far less to do with his dad's attendance or lack of Michigan gear and far more to do with his 27% shooting from beyond the arc.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:52 AM ^

I doubt that is what is happening with Hardaway; all his dad is saying is that as a former professional basketball player, he has a more nuanced view of his son than another parent without that background.  Yes, I'm sure he critiques Tim from time to time regarding his play, but how is that any different than the hundreds of parents and parental figures in most players' lives?  It isn't, and all of this Team Hardaway vs. Team Michigan talk is just rationalizations by fans disappointed with his struggles.  

Hardaway benefitted immensely from Morris's ability to get him open shots in the flow of the game.  I love Burke, but he's not there yet as a distriputor, and that has stymied the whole offense, not just Hardaway, and has created situations in which the team has shot horribly.  And for all the hustle crap, Hardaway plays hard out there, just like everyone else.  He's never been a good defender, and yeah the effort on that end could be more demonstrative, but the kid is trying out there, and questioning his dedication to this team because he's struggled is just silly.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:52 AM ^

THJ has been dealing with this for 20 years. If he can't handle his pop scouting him then there's no way he can handle the pressures of being a big time NBA prospect or player for that matter. With that being said, that still does not explain his consistent lack of effort and hustle on D. That's the part that irks me the most...


February 6th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

Burke is a great player but I do think that his presence has been to the detriment of Hardaway. When Burke sat out, Hardaway a few times carried the ball up on the break and Michigan had a totally different look.

As glad as I am to have Burke going forward, if we never landed him, I think Hardaway would be the star, and he'd have morphed more into his father.


February 6th, 2012 at 11:56 AM ^

The other thing is, and Jordan Taylor is finding this out, is he is not going to surprise anyone now.Everyone has seen his game and scouted him.His weaknesses are out there, and he has alot of them.For one, he's not a good ballhandler.Two, he won't let the game come to him, he is always pressing.Three, he's not a great shooter.When you can't consistently beat people off the dribble and have a guy in your face, your not going to shoot a high %.Four, a lack of effort and not willing to dig in on defense.He needs to be a good teammate and stop playing with this sense of entitlement.He is still young but needs to concentrate on getting better rather than the NBA.If he doesn't improve(ALOT), he can forget about it.


February 6th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

burke = jordan taylor.  i like the comparison.  they both have to handle the ball excessively due to lack of support.  wisky is finally getting help from their big guys (ie. consistenly knocking down 3s).  early on JT was really having to force the issue, much like burke has to do.

stu, smot, novak (who has played well) and thj are WAY underperforming.  there is no good reason why each of those guys shouldn't be shooting near 40% from 3 with the looks they get.  all we heard was how they were great shooters.  eh, not so much.  i'm especially disappointed in stu's lack of improvement.  a sure-thing 3 pt shooter would go a long way to making this offense click.  without it, burke is constantly double-teamed now and teams pack the paint hoping we miss the 3, which we have.

burke is a godsend.  w/o him we are under .500 in the BIG - guaranteed.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

not jumping on the guy during the worst slump of his career.  I am trying to determine the reason behind the slump and I have an opinion on it.  It appears to me that he is under the weight of undue pressure.  I am not saying that he is bailing on the team, I am saying that he is probably having trouble figuring out where his priorities as a player should be. 


February 6th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

Interesting Analysis. For the sake of Michigan, I hope Hardaway Jr. finds his shot. But also for the sake of Hardaway Jr. Parental expectations can be a heavy burden to bear. 

I also think, however, that beyond Hardaway Sr., THJ knows that the team expects more of him, the fans expect more of him, and he expects more of himself. The pressure to perform can be very difficult to manage. I hope the game becomes fun for him again.


February 6th, 2012 at 9:58 AM ^

This is a great point and one that has already occurred to me. People negging it are being dumb.

I personally don't believe THJ's regression and his father being around more is a coincidence. If you read that Daily article last year about the dynamics of their relationship, it might make sense to you. THJ starting playing better in high school when his dad eased up.

The Shredder

February 6th, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

I think people got to carried away with his good season last year. Like mentioned above with Morris sucking the defense into the paint and Tim not being known yet made a huge difference. My awesome scouting skills think Tim Hardaway Jr is a great spot up shooter but not much else. He can make a hell of a 3rd option for you as well. He is not a player that can carry a team or be a superstar like many thought this year. 

He can't dribble to save his life. He His defense needs all kinds of work, his rotations in the lane are just terrrible. His Mental game needs a lot of help(likes Evans). If he isn't playing well then he goes south where someone like Burke keeps plugging away. 

He looks like a four year player to me. But I am not sure if he sees himself that way. He will be a lot better next year once Mcgary shows up to draws people to the paint. 

People need to stop making him out to be a star who should be carry this team. If the MSU game didn't teach that then I don't know what will.


February 6th, 2012 at 10:04 AM ^

It looks to me that he carries the burden of missed shots with him, like his "stock" is going down with every miss.  Just play, a missed shot is just a missed shot, nothing more.  There is not some greater meaning to a bad performance or a shooting slump.  He does not look in the moment to me and I think the burden of undue expectations is causing havoc on him mentally.

panthera leo fututio

February 6th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

I think that people are really understating the extent to which Hardaway's production last year was concentrated in an amazing couple of weeks. I don't have the wherewithall to calculate his numbers through 24 games last year, but they're probably pretty similar to his numbers so far this year, if not worse. It wasn't until mid-February last year that he really caught fire. If anything, I think Hardaway is the victim of unrealistic public expectations based on an extremely small sample size.



February 6th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

I would expect him to step up a bit as a sophomore.  

Here are the numbers through the same amount of games 

Freshman   32% on 138 shots

Sophomore  27% on 137 shots

He shows no signs of coming out of the funk.  He is last in efficeincy behind the arc.  His defense is terrible this year.  

He has forced some terrible shots this year which has hurt the team in key moments.  

His minutes are up and the only thing up with that in proportion are bad decisions

We are winning in spite of him this year.  I hope he turns it around for the tourney because we need him in a big way.





February 6th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

If he goes early, I'd be amazed.  As it is now, I scratch my head every game wondering how/why we don't have someone on the bench that can play better than THJ.  The fact that he gets as much PT as he does tells me that Belein sees a better player in practice and is hoping/expecting to see that translate in games eventually.

I actually thought that MSU was allowing THJ and Evan to take their shots whenever/wherever they wanted.  Why wouldn't they ?  Neither guy could hit anything. That allowed them to have 5-on-3 against Burke, Novak, Douglas or Morgan -- tough to beat that !

turd ferguson

February 6th, 2012 at 10:18 AM ^

I've seen Hardaway Sr. wearing Michigan shirts multiple times, and he deserves praise, not criticism, for following his son around the country to watch his games.  I promise you that a lot of kids wish their fathers were that involved. 


February 6th, 2012 at 12:19 PM ^

really believe that a person can simply dissassociate themselves from a controlling personality trait like the one described in that article?  That a person can simply "pull the plug" and not be a certain way anymore.  It is you ignoring the facts if you think the contents of that article dispell my initial position in any way.  I wrote my post without the benefit of that article.  if I knew about the article to begin with, I would have felt stronger about my initial post.


February 6th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

Hardaway Sr. cheers when THJ does something well.  You must not watch that much.

He had the same expressions last year when he was watching his son and his son was supposedly having fun.

I'm guessing you haven't played that much sports or are not overly competitive.   THJ is very hard on himself, Beilien is constantly  harping on keeping his head up.  THJ has lost confidence and when you lose confidence it tears apart your game.   Check back with us when Hardaway heats back up and let us know what the solution was.   I'm guessing it's Hardaway Sr wearing a maize rage shirt.


February 6th, 2012 at 10:49 AM ^

I'm nearly certain he's talking about this article: Heat scout Hardaway sees a familiar face in Michigan guard.

It's a total misreading of the article to conclude that it says that Hardaway's father is watching him play only as a scout and not as a father. The article ends with this: 

[Hardaway Sr.] is also beaming these days about the college sophomore who watches a lot of film to learn from mistakes, about the player who always wanted to work on his game in a gym or around the hoop outside the family home in Miami, about the son.

"A unique pride," Tim Hardaway Sr. called it. "My chest is out. I'm very, very happy for him. I want his dream to come true."


February 6th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

Hardaway sr is an nba scout now, he isn't really supposed to support one team or another which is why he said those quotes about tim jr. in the first place since he is going to have to give an evaluation to the nba.  People really need to stop reading too much into things.

Space Coyote

February 6th, 2012 at 10:38 AM ^

Hardaway Jr.'s biggest problem seems to be himself.  He is lacking confidence and forcing the issue, meaning he isn't playing within the scope of the offense.  When he does play within the scope (as he had to do pretty much all of last year with Morris running the show) he has been very good, even hitting his shots from 3-point range.  It is when he tries to hard to force the issue to get his confidence back that he struggles.  In the long run, I think his production should probably a little above where it was last year, where he works within the offense, has a spot up shot and can slash off of the pump fake.

It's all a mental thing that can come back in a flash with one good game or even practice, where something can just click.  Or it might not.  But either way, getting over that hump is Hardaway Jr's biggest problem right now, and nothing to do with his pops not cheering like mad in the stands.

By the way, not everyone screams and cheers wildly when they watch sports.  When I've watched my brother or my friends in athletics I've rarely showed a ton of outward emotion outside a more subdued Tiger Woods-esk fist pump.  People show their support in different ways, and judging people based on your way of showing support isn't a fair criticism to make.


February 6th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

Hardaway Sr. was in the stands for the Ohio game in Athens the day before the UM OSU game in Columbus. He is employed as a scout by the Hawks. Being employed as a scout enables Hardaway to be reimbursed by the Hawks for attending games. This is why you see him texting during UM games. He is taking notes as a scout. All Hardaway Sr. is doing when he said he is attending the game as a scout is telling the truth. He constantly wears UM gear and has been shown hundreds of times giving high fives and cheering after good plays by Tim and ALL the UM players. Finally the Hardaway family has a rule precluding Sr. from critiquing Jrs. performance, good or bad. Mom Hardaway who always attends also enforces this rule with zero tolerance for violation.  


February 6th, 2012 at 11:31 AM ^

Obv. you know the real scoop. Thanks for joining mgoblog to put up this response. Whoever you are, I hope for Tim and for those close to him that he turns the corner and things improve.

So, a couple questions.

  1. To what do you attribute the change in shooting percentage? Is it the change from Morris to Burke, the increased focus of other teams on defending Tim, the pressure he puts on himself, just bad luck, or something else?
  2. To some degree, fans can't do anything. On the other hand . . . is there anything the fan base can do to support and encourage THJ? It is painful to see him struggling, even apart from how it affects the team. I want to see him succeed, not only for Michigan, but for himself. Anything we can do.

Space Coyote

February 6th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^

But as someone who played a lot of basketball growing up, the answer to #1 is all of the above and possibly something else as well.  A shooting slump in basketball is one of those killer things where a domino effect occurs, and once one thing goes off then the next thing does and so on and so forth, like hitting in baseball (I would assume, I quit baseball once kids were allowed to throw the curve, which in my mind is completely unfair and should be outlawed completely and pitches should all have a nice, slow moving arch like those that allowed me to hit homers like I did in my younger years (unless I could throw a curve ball)).


February 6th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

has gone into offensive dry spells he has gotten himself into the flow by increasing his defensive intensity. I have not seen him do so to the same degree this season. Also I have heard 3 different TV color men remark on how the ball leaves Tim's hand differently on misses than on makes. Finally with Morris departure I think Tim took on a burden to make a bigger contribution to the team. Admirable, yes but damaging if he struggles. I love the kid. Hate to say it but I selfishly look at his struggles as a bit of a blessing as long as the team continues to perform well. I want to see Tim wearing Maize and Blue for as long as posible.

He'll come out of this. He's a very good player but I don't know if psychologically he embraces the role as team MVP. As that expectation diminishes when other players step up he will likely slowly recover his shot. Short term he needs to D up though. As fans we just need to have a good memory imo. Thank you for the compliment.  

Just Maize

February 6th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

with the comment about his defense. You can see it clearly towards the end of games, when his intensity on D picks up he looks visibly more confident on the offensive side. I think the bigger issue with Morris gone is that Burke isn't quite as good (yet) at creating shots for THJ as Morris was. Once Trey settles into his role a bit more and they develop better chemistry, I'm positive THJ will turn it around. In the meantime, I think he just needs to bring more energy to his game.