Hardaway's Heat jersey retired
With about 50 family and friends looking on, including the other two parts of the famed "Run TMC" trio -- Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin -- that he first captured NBA acclaim with, Hardaway's oversized jersey was hoisted skyward before Miami opened its season against the New York Knicks.
"Tonight, I stand before you truly humble and grateful," Hardaway said.
Hardaway had hugs for everybody -- players, coaches, even referee Joe Crawford, no small feat considering how much the player loved to clash with officials during his playing days.
Before he came to Miami, only three other players had worn No. 10: Kelvin Upshaw, Clinton Wheeler and Manute Bol. No one had since Hardaway left the Heat in 2001.
"Obviously, well deserved," Mullin said. "Tim is one of the best players of his time."
His is the second Heat jersey to be retired: Alonzo Mourning's No. 33 was hoisted last season.
"It's another great moment," Heat president Pat Riley said. "I would say from the year 2006 until now, we've had a couple of incredible moments. Both of them are hanging from the rafters, our world championship banner that we're so proud of -- and there's more of those in store for the future -- and of course Alonzo Mourning last year, one of the anchors of this franchise."
Hardaway is still the Heat career leader in 3-point field goals and assists, ranks fifth in points and steals, and is 10th in regular-season games played.
"His contributions helped build a successful championship franchise," Mourning said.
The Heat presented Hardaway with a $50,000 check for his foundation, plus kept the Mullin and Richmond part of the night secret until the ceremony.
"To see him and Alonzo's numbers up there in the rafters, I'm very proud of him," Richmond said. "He deserves it."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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