Updated: Sep 14, 2022
Many may have forgotten or some just don't know the impact of that UTEP 2 step...
Tim Hardaway's numbers and influence on the game are as solid as any's at point guard. He helped innovate the game both individually and as a team member, being the head of the high scoring trio "Run TMC" in Golden State, with that fast pace ball in the early 90s.
Hardaway is the last of the trio of Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, to make it into the hall. Hardaway had career averages of 17ppg and 8apg during 14 seasons of play.
During a 10 year stretch, from 1989-99, Hardaway was easily one of the top 10 point guards in the league, which included John Stockton, Gary Payton, Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, Penny Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Rod Strickland and Damon Stoudamire. Kenny Anderson, Nick Van Exel, Mugsey Bogues, Mookie Blaylock, Terrell Brandon, Mark Price, Sam Cassell, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (Chris Jackson), Stephon Marbury, Derek Harper, Michael Adams and Avery Johnson, at one time or another, were considered amongst some of the better point guards during that era as well. That 10 year time span has often been referred to as the "golden era" of the TRUE point guard.
Many will give the "small ball" innovation to Steve Nash's 2004-05 Suns or even the Bulls in 97-98 with their, sometimes, line up of Harper, Jordan, Pippen, Kukoc and Rodman.
However, before both, in 93-94, the real innovators of the small ball was Golden State with Hardaway, Sprewell, Mullin, Billy Owens and CWebb.
But unfortunately, injuries derailed that team, so we never had a chance to see their true potential.
Then with Hardaway's second chapter career in Miami, he had to change his game because of injuries and the slower, half court, brutal, east coast style of play in the late 90s and early 00's.
Regardless, he was effectively
impactful going against the Jordan-led Bulls and the Ewing-led Knicks during some nip and tuck series in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
To this day, no one's been able to duplicate the#UTEP2Step (don't try this at home) because it's so tuff to consistently pull off.