Tim Hardaway had to go up against several legendary point guards during his time in the NBA but points out two of them gave him the most problems during those years, and he feels they are underappreciated among the fans today.
Tim Hardaway was a supreme point guard known as the creator of the modern crossover move many players use today. He was a 5-time NBA All-Star but also a player that could drop 25 points with ease while at the same time dishing out ten assists. When Hardaway joined the Golden State Warriors in 1989 and through the '90s, he faced off against numerous great point guards on a nightly basis.
In one of his interviews, Hardaway talked about the best guards he had to face in his career. He mentioned a few well-known names like Gary Payton or Chris Jackson, later known as Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, but he also said two point guards don't get the credit they deserve.
Hardaway referred to Rod Strickland, who is Kyrie Irving's godfather, and Kevin Johnson, who, after having a great NBA career, also had a very successful career in politics where he was elected as mayor for Sacramento. Hardaway said it was tough playing against those guys because their playing style was very similar to his. They both attacked the basket with no fear whatsoever, while at the same time, they were capable of putting their teammates in the best position to score.
"Chris Jackson gave me fits, Gary Payton, of course. Two guys that don't get enough recognition is Rod Strickland and my man from Phoenix, Kevin Johnson, who gave everybody fits. It was tough playing those guys, and back then, you could push off, hand check, and make them go in a different direction. They had some moves, and they had charisma with confidence to come out there and do what I did. Get to the rim, make a play for your team. Like I said, Kevin Johnson and Rod Strickland don't get enough praise in this game because they did do work. "
Today, many younger fans haven't had the opportunity to watch KJ or Strickland in action, but they were premiere point guards capable of dropping 20 points and ten assists with ease. They played in smaller markets, so that is also one reason for the lack of publicity even though KJ was on that Phoenix Suns that played in the NBA finals against the Chicago Bulls back in 1993.