2 Apr 1996: Tim Hardaway #10 of the Miami Heat tries to get past Ron Harper #9 of the Chicago Bulls during their game at the Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. The Bulls won the game 110-92. Mandatory Credit: Allsport USA/Allsport

Chicago Is The Mecca Of Basketball “I’m Trying To Think Why People Say New York,” Says Tim Hardaway Sr.

4 Apr 1996: Guard Tim Hardaway of the Miami Heat looks for an open teammate around the reaching arm of guard Ron Harper of the Chicago Bulls during first quarter action of their game at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Mandatory Credit: Jonat

Last month, Lakers forward Anthony Davis made headlines after he revealed why Chicago is the Mecca of basketball.

“It is,” Davis told reporters on November 4, 2019, when describing the Windy City as the mecca of basketball. “We‘ve got the best basketball players ever. You look at the history with all the guys we’ve got that made the league and even the guys that didn’t make the league. They say New York, but it’s not even close.”

The Lakers All-star have a legitimate argument with players such as himself, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Patrick Beverley, Tony Allen, Evan Turner, Kendrick Nunn, and Jabari Parker are players, who were born in the city of Chicago. Other players that hail from the Windy City are Isiah Thomas, Tim Hardaway, Antoine Walker, Juwan Howard, Kendall Gill, Nick Anderson, Quinton Richardson, Hersey Hawkins, Doc Rivers, Terry Cummings, Mark Aguirre, and Mo Cheeks.

Davis this year for the Lakers is averaging 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 19 games, and well on his way to representing the city of Chicago in this year’s All-Star Game.

After Davis’ comments started to circulate across numerous news outlets, the Los Angles media asked Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers about Davis’ comments about naming Chicago the Mecca of basketball.

“Yeah, he’s right,” Rivers said when asked about Davis’ comment. “It’s not even a question. No, I really believe that.”

“The Mecca of basketball is absolutely Chicago players,” Rivers said. “New York gets all the rub, which I don’t get, but Chicago, it’s not even close. It’s not close.”

“You play against everybody,” Rivers said. “I mean, how many kids can say, unless you grew up in Chicago, you can have a pickup game out on the park with Isiah Thomas, Terry Cummings, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Aguirre, Darrell Walker. There’s not a lot of pickup games like that in your same grade. That’s every year. That’s called Chicago basketball.”

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley also weighed in the next day after Rivers responded to Davis’ comments after practice on November 5, 2019.

“Of course [it is]. Over the past years, we’ve had a lot of basketball players come out. Over the years, due to the violence, basketball has sort of taken a step-down, but it’s coming back up,” according to Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points.

Last week, NBA great Tim Hardaway shared his thoughts on the subject when spoke to him before the Mavericks took on the Los Angeles Clippers.

” I agree with Anthony Davis, first of all, we are all from Chicago, Anthony Davis, myself, Derrick Rose, and Isiah Thomas. I’m trying to figure out why people think New York is the mecca of basketball. I know Madison Square Garden with all the tournaments, but we had more tournaments during the summer than they had and have more basketball players then they had every summer playing,” said Hardaway.

So, when you say basketball mecca I agree with Anthony Davis. I think the City of Chicago is the mecca of basketball.”

Tim Hardaway Sr played 13 seasons in the NBA and averaged 17.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 8.2 per game.

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