Hardaway 'didn't know' if he'd still be on Mavs after last season's meltdown
After the Dallas Mavericks disastrously missed the playoffs last season, Tim Hardaway Jr. was skeptical if he'd still be on the team.
"I didn't know if I was going to be here this season if I'm being honest with you," Hardaway said Friday at Mavericks media day, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.
However, Hardaway added that he feels secure with his spot heading into the campaign, per FanSided's Noah Weber.
Dallas swung for the fences in February, acquiring former All-Star Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets. The Mavs finished with a 10-18 record following the move, including going 5-11 with Irving and superstar Luka Doncic in the lineup. The team was eliminated from playoff contention after sitting Doncic in a crucial contest against the Chicago Bulls at the end of the season.
After the Irving trade, Hardaway came off the bench for the defensive-minded Reggie Bullock. He averaged 15.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists over his final 21 games, knocking down 47.7% of his three-pointers. The veteran wing also came off the bench for his first 17 contests last season.
Head coach Jason Kidd recently mentioned Hardaway's name in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year, Townsend reports. The coach is considering starting rookie forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper for the team's first preseason games in Abu Dhabi in October.
"I'm a hybrid, I guess, at this point of my career," Hardaway said, according to Townsend. "Whether I start or come off the bench, I'm not going to be one to have an ego or anything like that. That's not going to get you anywhere."
The Mavericks take on the Minnesota Timberwolves for two preseason contests in Abu Dhabi.