Tim Hardaway's son works out for Knicks
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The son of former Knicks' nemesis Tim Hardaway was decked out in orange and blue, the colors of the team his dad hated losing to and loved beating when he was with Miami.
But Tim Hardaway Jr. said his more famous dad didn't cringe when he was told he was working out for the Knicks Tuesday morning.
"He said, 'All right, that's fine. Go ahead and do your thing. Go out there and have fun,' " Hardaway Jr. said. "That's basically it."
The Michigan junior guard was one of six draft prospects who worked out for the Knicks at their training facility. Three of them were the sons of former NBA players.
Glen Rice Jr., the son of the onetime Knick, and Missouri guard Phil Pressey, whose dad is Paul Pressey, also displayed their skills for team officials. The other three were North Carolina State junior forward C.J. Leslie, New Mexico guard Tony Snell and Baylor guard Pierre Jackson.
The players from this group are projected to go in the late first round and early second. The Knicks own the No. 24 pick in the June 27 draft.
Hardaway Jr. grew up in Miami not liking the Knicks, but now he would love the opportunity to play for them. He has clear memories of some of the Knicks-Heat playoff battles when his dad was playing.
"Yeah, I remember a lot," Hardaway Jr. said. "I remember a lot of fights between Zo-Ewing, and Oakley-Zo, and more Zo and other players. All that stuff."
Allan Houston, who hit the shot that knocked the Heat out of the 1999 playoffs, was among those watching the workouts. Houston is the Knicks' assistant general manager.
Hardaway Jr. averaged 14.2 points for the Wolverines, who lost in the NCAA championship to Louisville. He's taller than his dad, but not the explosive scorer his father was. He's trying to prove with his athleticism, defensive ability and leadership skills he can make an impact on the NBA level.
He and Rice Jr. -- who played three years at Georgia Tech and was with the Rio Grande Vipers of the D-League last season -- have known each other since they were teenagers.
Glen Rice, acquired in 2000 for Patrick Ewing in a four-team deal, spent one season with the Knicks and also played with the Heat before Hardaway got to Miami. But Rice owns a house in Miami so the two sons played pick-up games together when they were in high school.
Rice Jr. kept referring to Hardaway Jr. as "little Tim." They're both 6-6, but Rice Jr. is one year older.
The two have had to deal with trying to emerge from their dads' shadows. It's even more difficult since they have the same names as their dads, both of whom were NBA All-Stars.
Rice Jr., a good shooter like his father, said it's a blessing and a curse
"I'd say it's more of a help but I'd say it goes both ways," he said. "You've got people looking at you wanting you to play just like him. They do look just because of the name so that's always good. You've just got to go out there and produce."
Hardaway Jr. said it's been all good for him.
"It's a great feeling," He said. "A lot of kids go their separate paths and play different sports. They don't want that harassment or that constructive criticism toward them because they're not going to be their fathers.
"We take on that challenge ever since we were growing up and we're just trying to live up to the expectation."