Former NBA player Tim Hardaway had many accomplishments throughout his memorable career that many basketball players nowadays still envy. The 52-year-old former basketball star was one of the members of the original “big three” team. The other two members made it into the Basketball Hall of Fame. However, Hardaway still hasn’t achieved that recognition, and he feels he knows why he is being overlooked. Over 10 years ago, he made an ill-advised and widely publicized statement saying he hated gay individuals
“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known,” Hardaway told Dan Le Batard on Miami radio in 2007, according to ESPN. “I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”
After making that statement, Hardaway was questioned about what his response would be if he found out he had a gay teammate. He was given the example of John Amaechi, who had recently announced he was gay. Again, Hardaway said a few things that many found shocking. Hardaway admitted he wouldn’t want a gay man on his team, and if something like that did happen, he would keep away from any gay team member. Hardaway also said he would not feel comfortable in the locker room, according to ESPN.
Unfortunately for Hardaway, he wound up banned from the league’s All-Star action after he made those statements. Since then, he has attempted to make amends for what he said and patch up his reputation. Hardaway has spent time with LGBTQ groups trying to promote education as well as push LGBTQ rights. For instance, he helped with a Florida petition that covered the legalization of same-sex marriage. Still, while his name is mentioned every year when the NBA considers its new Hall of Fame members, Hardaway is always passed over.
“Well, you know, the reason I’m not in is because of what I said in 2007 about gay people. That’s why I’m not in right now, and I understand it. I hurt a lot of people’s feelings and it came off the wrong way and it was really bad of me to say that. Since then, I’ve turned a wrong into a right,” Hardaway said, according to ESPN.
Hardaway did achieve some impressive statistics during his professional basketball career. He played for 13 seasons and made the All-Star team five times. Also, during Hardaway’s career, he averaged 17.7 points and 8.2 assists per game.