Tim Hardaway Jr. can now breathe easy and look forward not only to another NBA season with the New York Knicks, but also to a trip to London as the Knicks play for the second time in three years at the 02 Arena in January against the Milwaukee Bucks.
New York, as expected picked up 22-year-old Hardaway Jr’s third-year option on his contract earlier this week, which is worth $1.3million.
The son of legendary Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway recently spoke to British-based PR firm Pitch to talk about the upcoming game against the Bucks in London, among other things.
When did you first hear that you were going to be playing London next year?
I saw it on Instagram. The New York Knicks posted a picture of Amar’e Stoudemire with his hands held high and it said “The Knicks are returning to London in 2014 -15”. I was very ecstatic, I was happy, excited, all at the same time. I couldn’t wait to be a part of it.
The Knicks played against the Detroit Pistons in London at NBA Global Games 2013. Have the team spoken to you much about their time over here in 2013?
Yes, they loved the trip, the experience was great. I’m just trying to stay calm cause I know I get very excited hearing about things like that.
Have you been to London before?
Never been to London before so January will be my first time.
What have you heard about London?
London bridge. When I was a kid, London Bridge is falling down, that’s all I used to hear about London. I know that there are some great tourist attractions you see them all in the movies all the time. You see it on computers and pictures that people post, and my friends going there to visit. I just can’t wait to be a part of that.
You used to play a bit of soccer/football?
Yes, I played when I was a kid in Miami.
You’re playing the Bucks in London. What would you make of the Bucks roster and where they’re going.
I think they’re going in the right direction again with a lot of young talent. Guys that can play the game very, very well, they have one of the top three picks in the draft this year so they definitely have a big time player for their future. So they’ll be ready to play and I know they’ll be ready for the challenge.
You played against them this year. What were your thoughts when you did play this season?
It was tough I think we tied 2-2 Knicks vs Bucks. They’re a tough team at home and it was kind of hard to get going against them because they are really trying to find themselves at this point and when they do find themselves and when they click on all cylinders, they’re very tough.
What’s it like playing with Carmelo Anthony?
It’s great playing with Melo, you see his face all over the place, he’s very big, everywhere he goes. He’s a great mentor, a great person to be around and he takes the game serious too, you always see that, he takes the game very seriously. I’ve always noticed that he’s a very hard worker. He’s always watching films, everywhere I see him, he’s just a great person to have on the team.
The Milwaukee Bucks host the New York Knicks at The O2 in London on Jan. 15 as part of NBA Global Games London 2015. Tickets go on sale Oct. 31 at www.theo2.co.uk/nba2015