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Tim Hardaway leaving the Heat for an assistant coaching position in Detroit

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The former Heat point guard will be leaving the organization as a scout to join Stan Van Gundy's coaching staff in Detroit.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Tim Hardaway will be leaving the Miami Heat as a scout to become an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons under Stan Van Gundy.

The Heat acquired Hardaway along with Chris Gatling during the 1995-96 season from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Kevin Willis and Bimbo Coles. The trade paired Hardaway with Alonzo Mourning, who led Miami to four consecutive Atlantic Division titles, the franchise’s most success during that era that also included an epic rivalry between the Heat and the New York Knicks.

Speaking about the opportunity to coach, Hardaway told Jackson, "I’m ecstatic, it’s something I wanted to do. It’s all about teaching. I’m good at teaching and understanding players."

He didn’t see an opportunity to join Erik Spoelstra’s staff as realistic because "there are guys before me here and I didn’t want to take anything from them."

There’s also a comfort level between him and Van Gundy who was an assistant coach during Hardaway's playing career.

"Stan and I have great rapport. Pat Riley said it’s a great thing for me and he’s happy for me."

Post-career, Hardaway has worked within the Heat organization as a scout and community and corporate liaison.

Leaving the Heat is certainly bittersweet for Hardaway, as he reflects on his relationship with Pat Riley and Micky Arison.

"It’s going to be hard, going to be sad," he said. "I am always a Heat family guy. There will always be a big place in my heart for the Heat, Micky Arison, Pat Riley. We helped each other in many ways. Great people. I will miss them. It’s bittersweet."

Later Thursday, Riley released a short statement on Hardaway.

"Tim Hardaway informed us that he has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Detroit Pistons. Micky and I, and the entire organization, couldn't be more thrilled for Tim as he embarks on the next chapter of his basketball career. Tim was one of the cornerstones of this franchise for six seasons; providing excitement to fans in Miami and all over the country with his dazzling moves and killer crossover, and he has been a franchise pillar since the day he arrived in Miami. But most of all, he has been an important figure in the South Florida community."