Shaqtin-a-Fool made funny NBA moments a staple of our NBA diet. The league has always had a nice compilation of NBA bloopers but since there were no high-tech mobile phones in the good old days, some epic moments weren’t caught on camera. And former Golden State Warriors point guard Tim Hardaway Sr. starred in one of those.
The Warriors pulled off a good one
In an exclusive interview with Slam in 2020, Hardaway was asked to reveal what was the best prank he had seen in the NBA. Shockingly, “Mr. Crossover,” said the best there is to this day was the one the Warriors pulled on him during his rookie season.
According to Hardaway, it was a preseason game, and he was brimming with energy. To reward his enthusiasm, some of his teammates asked him to lead them en route to the court, which he did with pleasure.
To Tim’s surprise, his teammates stayed in the locker room, and he was the only one who showed up in front of the crowd. The opposing team, Utah Jazz, quickly realized it was a prank, and Hardaway said he saw them laughing at him.
“It was a preseason game. Golden State Warriors against the Utah Jazz at my alma mater, UTEP. This is my rookie year. I’m hype,” Hardaway recalled. “They said, ‘Alright, Tim, lead us out of the tunnel.’ I ran out and before I knew it, I was already on the court and they were still in the locker room [laughs]. The Utah Jazz started laughing at me.”
Fortunately for Hardaway, he was in his alma mater UTEP, and the announcer was a fun guy, too, so the embarrassing moment shifted to a homecoming standing ovation.
“The PA announcer said, ‘Alright, it’s your Tim Hardaway Warriors.’ He helped me out a little bit,” he continued. “I stood up with my hands up like, ‘Yeah, I’m back and I appreciate being back.’ And the crowd gave me a standing ovation. But it was embarrassing at first.”
Tim Bug was no joke
Indeed, that preseason was hilarious. However, Hardaway proved to everybody that he was no joke on the court when the season began. In his first 79 games for the Warriors, “Tim Bug” averaged an impressive 14.7 points, 8.7 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. He became a pillar of the then-famous Warriors “Run TMC” trio and finished his six-season stint with Golden State tallying 19.8 points, 9.3 assists, and 1.9 steals per outing.
Undeniably, Hardaway is one of the greatest Warriors players of all time. And for sure, not one bit will change his legacy, regardless of how many times he became a victim of the team’s pranks.