Hall of Fame | Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning

Tim Hardaway happy for Alonzo Mourning despite Hall of Fame snub

 
 
Former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway and current guard Dwyane Wade applaud as forward LeBron James' 2012 London Olympics gold medal banner is raised up in the arena before the team plays the Denver Nuggets at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Nov. 3, 2012
Former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway and current guard Dwyane Wade applaud as forward LeBron James' 2012 London Olympics gold medal banner is raised up in the arena before the team plays the Denver Nuggets at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Nov. 3, 2012
Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Staff

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.com

Odds are Tim Hardaway is going to get into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.

But there’s no doubt the five-time All-Star point guard — now a 47-year-old scout with the Heat — is disappointed he’s not joining the Hall in Springfield, Mass., this August alongside his former teammate Alonzo Mourning.

“I can’t really tell you my initial feelings,” Hardaway said of the Hall of Fame selection process before Tuesday night’s game against the Nets. “But I’m glad Zo got the call and he’s going in. I’m going to be there for him.

“We should have went in together,” Hardaway continued. “But you know, what can I say? I don’t have any control over that. That’s the way it is. “

Hardaway, whose No. 10 is the only other Heat jersey retired and hung up alongside Mourning’s No. 33 inside AmericanAirlines Arena, was joined at the hip with the 6-10, seven-time All-Star center in 1996 by Pat Riley.

The duo laid the foundation for future Heat championships, winning multiple division titles and making a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals before the declining and aging Hardaway was traded away at age 34 following the 2001 season.

This was the second year in a row Hardaway was one of the finalists to get into the Hall of Fame and didn’t. Mourning was a first-ballot selection.

“It would have been the perfect scenario to have Tim go in with me. Unfortunately it didn’t happen that way,” Mourning said. “I know he’ll have his opportunity at some point and I’ll be there for it.

“He deserves it just as much as I do. Obviously it’s a process for everybody. You got to think of individuals like [former Georgetown coach] John Thompson. He’s a third ballot Hall of Famer. He’s definitely deserving of a first ballot. I’m very, very fortunate and thankful I got in right away.”

Unlike the NFL and Major League Baseball, the NBA doesn’t have its own Hall of Fame. Instead, it’s a part of the all-encompassing Naismith Hall of Fame, which includes college basketball coaches and players and women’s basketball coaches and players.

The final selection process involves a 24-person Honors committee made up of Hall of Famers, basketball executives, media members and other contributors to the game. A finalist needs 18 votes to be enshrined. Hardaway has no idea how close or how far off he was from making it because the voting process is secret. All he said he got was a phone call telling him he didn’t get in.

Hardaway has three more chances to get voted in as a finalist. If he doesn’t make it in by then, his candidacy is suspended for five years before he’s eligible to become a finalist again.

For now, Hardaway says he’s just happy for his friend.

“I’m happy, I’m ecstatic for him,” he said. “No question he deserves it. He worked hard for it. I’m going to be there [when he’s inducted]. I’m going to have fun like it was me.”

Mourning, who spoke on a conference call Monday after his Hall of Fame selection was officially announced out in Dallas prior to the NCAA title game, reiterated Tuesday for the local media just how happy and grateful he is to be headed to the hall.

“[Monday] was an interesting day for me,” Mourning said. “I got a call from the President. President [Bill] Clinton reached out to me as well. Magic [Johnson] reached out to me and congratulated me. I got some amazing calls. It was an uplifting day. It really was.”

During a timeout with 5:09 to play in the first quarter, a video montage of Mourning’s career highlights played on the large screens in the arena. The crowd gave Mourning a standing ovation and he responded by standing, waving and clasping his hands as he mouthed, “Thank you.”

Mourning said he hasn’t come to a conclusion yet as to who will introduce him, but he’s hoping he can have two or three people share the honors.

“You think of John Thompson, Pat Riley, Mickey Arison, you think of a lot of people that have made truly significant investments that played huge roles as to why I’m in this position right now,” Mourning said. “I haven’t finalized anything yet. I spoke to Mr. [Jerry] Colangelo a little bit about it. We’ll come to a conclusion sooner rather than later.”

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2014, file photo, then-Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers' 117-109 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver. Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. Ferry apologized Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, for “repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources” about Deng.

    Miami Heat

    More comments besmirching new Miami Heat forward Luol Deng

    Days after it was revealed that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racially charged comments about new Heat forward Luol Deng before Deng became a free agent this summer, additional comments made by Ferry about Deng came to light Thursday.

  •  
FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2011, file photo, Atlanta Hawks co-owners Michael Gearon Jr., left, and Bruce Levenson talk prior to the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. The team did not provide any details of the discipline.

    Hawks discipline GM Ferry for racist comments

    The Atlanta Hawks are sticking with general manager Danny Ferry even though the team's new majority owner wants him fired for racially charged comments about Luol Deng.

  •  
Shaquille O'Neal stopped by Doral City Hall Wednesday to say hello to the city council before sitting down with the police department. O’neal applied to be a reserve officer and is undergoing a background check.

    Doral

    Shaq wants to attack crime in Doral

    Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal applied to be a reserve police officer for the city of Doral on Wednesday.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category