Tim Hardaway Jr. is fine with earning his job
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale made it clear this week that no one has a guaranteed starting spot. Everyone on the roster will have to earn the right to start.
When it comes to Tim Hardaway Jr., he’s fine with that. Even though the Knicks handed him a $71 million contract in 2017, he doesn’t feel entitled despite the big pay day.
Fizdale actually worked for the Miami Heat when Hardaway’s father Tim Sr. played for them, so he’s known Fizdale longer than any other player on the Knicks’ roster and is comfortable with the way he coaches.
Hardaway says that he knows Fizdale won’t favor him despite the their relationship.
“He doesn’t show any favoritism to myself, treats everybody equal out here on the floor,’’ Hardaway said, via the NY Post. “Growing up, knowing Fiz, going back to the days of my dad playing with the Heat, Pat Riley, he knew when I was out here running on the court as a little kid. Me going back after college, during college, and watching the Heat in the playoffs, saying a few words [to him]. It was just mutual respect.”
Unlike last season under former head coach Jeff Hornacek, it sounds like Fizdale won’t play Hardaway and Courtney Lee together.
“Everybody has to compete,’’ Hardaway said. “No spots are given. Everything is earned. So you’ve got to go out there and play with heart, play with passion. He’s going to make the right decision, put the five guys that he wants on the floor to start the game and we go on from there.”
Hardaway is confident that he’ll earn a starting spot this season.
“Everybody has a lot of confidence. If you didn’t have confidence you wouldn’t be here.”
The great thing about a coach like Fizdale is that it seems as though his players respect him. Now I don’t know what happened in Memphis, but for some reason Marc Gasol didn’t like him and that’s why Fizdale was fired last season.
When it comes to Fizdale’s short stint with the Knicks so far, it looks like everyone is on board and excited for this season.
Hopefully, New York can work together and put together a good season.
Paul has been a professional writer since 2010 and covered the NFL for several years as a credentialed media member. Some of his work has been linked to companies like FOX Sports, MSN, ESPN, Rolling Stone, Forbes and Deadspin. He’s also appeared on sports talk radio shows from around the United States.