New Hawks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. says he will use Knicks president Phil Jackson’s critical remarks about him Friday as motivation.
In explaining why he gave up on Hardaway, the Zen Master said he believed Notre Dame senior point guard Jerian Grant has more of the attributes the Knicks want from a guard.
“Once I heard him say that, all hands on deck now,” Hardaway said Monday at his introductory press conference in Atlanta. “Obviously as a basketball player, you take that to heart. So, it’s time to move on, get better, and when the time comes, the time comes. Right now, it’s all about Atlanta basketball.”
Jackson and Knicks coach Derek Fisher deemed Hardaway an ill fit for the triangle. Hardaway made the All-Rookie First Team after being drafted No. 24 by the Knicks in 2013. He had a rough season with reduced minutes in 2014-15. Fisher was down on Hardaway’s defense, rebounding ability and propensity to share the ball. Hardaway averaged double figures in scoring in both seasons.
“The triangle is a tough offense to get used to,” Hardaway said. “You really have to be dedicated and mature to that end. We tried. We tried our best while we were there, but it’s a learning process. You learn and you get better each and every day. I think after a year, those guys will get used to it.”
On what went wrong in his second season, Hardaway said: “It all started with summer league. Summer league we did a great job as a team, and then during the regular season it didn’t click very well going through training camp. I don’t know what happened. It was just a tough situation, a tough environment for all of us. It was definitely a learning experience.
“There was a lot of negative but a lot of positive moments through last year. It really helps you grow as an individual and a ball player to realize that nothing comes easy in this league and you have to work for everything. So, it definitely made me mature a lot more as a basketball player and take advantage of this opportunity a lot more.”
Hardaway’s buddy Carmelo Anthony reportedly was upset on Draft Night — ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported Anthony felt “betrayed” — but The Post reported the Knicks star was more angry at the Hardaway trade than the team selecting European project Kristaps Porzingis.
“I’m not sharing anything,” Hardaway said. “That’s between me and Melo, and it’s going to stay that way.”