Monday night, former Warrior greats Mitch Richmond and Tim Hardaway spoke at a Thuzio Executive Club in San Francisco. The event included a cocktail hour where members could meet the former players, a conversation with KGO sports director Larry Beil, and finally a question and answer session and dinner.
During the conversation with Larry Beil, Hardaway and Richmond shared stories from the Run-TMC days, their lives in the NBA and their thoughts on the current Golden State Warriors.
Warriorsworld spoke with Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond prior to the event on a variety of topics. Below, please find Hardaway and Richmond’s thoughts on the Warriors upcoming match up with Houston Rockets:
Warriors v. the Rockets, how do you see that playing out?
Tim Hardaway: The Rockets have a match up problem v. the Warriors; who’s going to stop Steph (Curry)? You have Draymond Green, he’s a strong player. In my opinion, it’s going to be tough for the Rockets to compete with them. The Warriors have a lot of fire power.
One thing I saw during the regular season is the Warriors were able to defend James Harden like no other team, because they have a taller player that can stick him.
Mitch Richmond: I don’t want to jinx them. I know they want to take it one game at a time. They beat the rockets, what, 4 times this year? The rockets will want to prove they can beat this team. I think the match ups are great. Houston can play small ball with the Warriors.
Houston has capable players at the 4 position. They have Josh Smith. He has to come to play, he can’t let Draymond Green out play him, but that’s going to be hard to do. Draymond plays with so much energy and Josh is kind of laid back.
Overall, this is a great match up. I think this match up is even better than Clippers v. Golden State would have been. I think Golden State would have swept the Clippers. They would have beaten the Clippers really bad. Right now Houston has the capability of matching up with Golden State. They want to go up and down like Golden State. We’re going to see some fun basketball, a lot of scoring.
If Houston is going to beat Golden State, Harden is going to have to play some defense. If Houston puts Harden on Klay (Thompson) they’re going to have problems, if they put him on Steph they’re going to have problems. And then you have Barnes who is also a capable scorer. Whomever Harden is guarding is going to have a mismatch and I imagine Golden State is going to go after him.
The Warriors are halfway to their ultimate goal; what advice do you have for Golden State at this stage in the game?
Tim Hardaway: Keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t stop doing what got you to this point. Don’t stop playing physical. Keep playing defense, keep playing confident.
Mitch Richmond: I don’t think they need any advice. You can tell they smell it. You talk about experience with teams, they haven’t been there but I don’t use that as a crux. The experience of having played together for the past 2 or 3 years is experience enough. They know what’s right in front of them. They won 51 games last year and had a taste of success. They are hungry.
When you see a group who’s so focused, and play the way they play, leaving it all on the court. I don’t think there is anything I need to say other than good luck.
Be sure to listen to Warriors Huddle podcast later this week for more sound bites from Hardaway and Richmond.