Tim Hardaway Sr. is leaving his job as a scout and community and corporate liason for the Miami Heat to become a Detroit Pistons assistant coach under Stan Van Gundy, he said to Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.
“I'm ecstatic,” he told me this afternoon. “It's something I wanted to do. It's all about teaching. I'm good at teaching and understanding players.”
And he was comfortable with Van Gundy, who was an assistant coach during Hardaway's time with the Heat. “Stan and I have great rapport. [Heat president] Pat Riley said it's a great thing for me and he's happy for me.”
Hardaway --- who will join Brendan Malone, Bob Beyer, Charles Klask and former Heat forward Malik Allen on Van Gundy's staff --- said a coaching job on Erik Spoelstra's staff wasn't realistic because “there are guys before me here and I didn't want to take anything from them.”
Hardaway played for Miami from 1996's trade deadline until the end of the 2000-2001 season, and was named to three All-NBA teams as a member of the team. Van Gundy served as an assistant coach under Pat Riley during that time.
The Heat are known for being loyal to their former players, and Hardaway said it would be bittersweet to leave the organization. If he wants to work with players, though, this is definitely the right career move.
Van Gundy also will reportedly add former players Quentin Richardson and Malik Allen to his staff.