Hardaway to Indian youngsters: 'Watch NBA to learn the game'

Tim Hardaway wants youngsters to catch as much basketball action on TV and internet to improve their game.

NBA legend Tim Hardaway at a promotional event in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  Special Arrangement

NBA may still be taking baby steps in India, but Tim Hardaway, one of the legends of the game, believes that spending more time watching the game will help Indian youngsters learn the secrets of the trade.

In the city to promote basketball, Hardaway interacted with fans at a shopping mall and conducted a clinic at the Jamnabai Narsee School on Wednesday.

“This is just the start. Slowly, people (will) pick up basketball like cricket and soccer. Watch the NBA on TV and learn how to play. Watch the NBA guys, and what they do. Watch them on Youtube. That’s what people in India should do to learn the game — watch more NBA,” Hardaway said.

Hardaway has played for Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers in his illustrious career and was regarded highly for crossover dribble. He, however, feels that the game has opened up more these days. 

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“The sport is different [now]. When I was in the league, we could push up (and score). Now it is wide open. The points are also high now. They go up to 85, 89, 120 points at time. It has moved a lot, [mainly because of] the physicality of players. The scoring is wide open now,” the NBA legend said.

After spending a couple of days in Mumbai, Hardaway will meet and greet with fans in Bengaluru on Thursday and will return to Mumbai for live television appearances on Sony Ten 1 andSony Ten 3’s NBA wraparound shows on Saturday.

“Basketball has taken me to many places around the world and I am excited to be in India to meet with the fans and do my part to further the development of the game,” said Hardaway.

Hardaway was drafted 14th overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 1989 NBA Draft and was named in the NBA All-Rookie first team in 1990.  A five-time NBA All-Star, Hardaway played 14 seasons in the NBA with career averages of 17.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 8.2 assists, and was named in the All-NBA team five times. His son, Tim Hardaway Jr, is currently playing in the league for the New York Knicks.