TIM HARDAWAY JR told London fans to expect “all out war” from the New York Knicks on Thursday night.
The Knicks take on the Washington Wizards at the O2 Arena this week in the ninth NBA regular-season game to be played in the UK.
And, despite a tough first half of the season, Hardaway Jr is confident the Knicks can put on a show for British fans.
He said: “It’s going to be all out war – we are going to compete our tails off.
“It’s going to be exciting but it’s not going to be easy for our opponent. I’ll let you know that right now.
“We are going to go out there and grind it out and do the best we can to get that win.
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“Washington are an unbelievable team. They have got so much talent.
“We love going against those guys, they compete their tails off and they bring the best out of you.”
New York have won just 10 games so far this season and have faced an uphill battle without their injured Latvian star Kristaps Porzingis.
Hardaway Jr returns to London with the Knicks having played in their 2015 defeat by the Milwaukee Bucks at the O2 Arena.
The 26-year-old guard is one of the leaders on the team in the absence of Porzingis having returned to the Big Apple two years ago.
Hardaway Jr was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in the summer of 2015 and feels he’s a better player as a result of his two-year stay in Georgia.
He said: “It sucks that Kristaps Porzingis isn’t here right now but he’s been working his tail off to get back so it’s my job to be that primary guy out there on the floor and help lead these guys and the team.
“Last time we were there (in London) it was a disappointment on our play and in the back of my mind I don’t want that to happen again.
“I was here then got traded to Atlanta. I didn’t really play during that first season at Atlanta and then came back played the second year at Atlanta.
“Now I’m back here so it’s been a process. It’s been a journey but that’s what it’s all about.”
Hardaway Jr added: “You can’t take anything for granted. You have to go out there and compete every day because there’s always someone behind you trying to take your spot.
“There’s so many people that want to be in your position so you have to respect the game and go out there and respect the grind.
“Sacrifice what you do to go out there and be the best.”
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