CHICAGO — Twenty-five years ago Heat guard Tim Hardaway said of the Knicks, “I hate them with all the hate you can hate with.’’
Hardaway didn’t hate them enough to turn down a job though. The Post has learned Hardaway was hired this season as a Knicks scout, though the club didn’t announce it.
Hardaway, a former Heat scout and Pistons assistant coach, has been in the room this week while Knicks brass has interviewed draft prospects at the draft combine.
Tim Hardaway put his Knicks hatred aside and joined the front office.Getty Images
Hardaway’s son, Tim Hardaway Jr., had two stints with the Knicks as a first-round pick and later as a free agent. He was traded to Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis deal, but the father had made connections within the organization.
Last Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the famed brawl inspired by Charlie Ward and P.J. Brown in Game 5 of the 1997 Eastern Conference semifinals.
The melee actually started when Hardaway was knocked to the floor by a hard pick. When Hardaway was at the free-throw line, Ward boxed out Brown and all hell broke loose.
“That was basketball,” Hardaway told The Post this week about the incident that got five Knicks suspended. “That’s how the game was played — in your face, don’t back down, talk s–t, bump and grind, fight if you have to fight. That’s how we grew up and … we…