On Thursday night, we showed you a video of Penny Hardaway talking about a comeback to the NBA to play for the Miami Heat “super team.” I hate to post on the same exact topic twice in a row, but I found something in the interview that I couldn’t let slip through the cracks. Hardaway was talking about coming back and giving the Heat a limited number of minutes and some veteran leadership, which would obviously be the role they’d put him in. Here’s what he said about still being able to contribute:
This role that I’m trying to play for this team, it doesn’t take much, man. I could do that in my sleep.
I know it’s not going to be the most popular choice for a lot of people because they’re going to talk about what happened in the past but now, playing in a role [which that team needs], I could do that easily. I made that team two years ago and I played 33 minutes a game and I was in the starting lineup. That wasn’t long ago so I think I could do that little minimal role a lot easier.”
If you thought Penny was crazy for thinking the Heat might sign him with what little cap space they’re working with, take some time to examine the way in which he remembers his playing days. Check out his career stats over at ESPN, or any other site for that matter. The last time Hardaway averaged over 30 minutes per game was during the ’02-’03 season, when he appeared in 58 games for the Phoenix Suns. His last year in the league — the ’07-’08 season — Penny appeared in only 16 games and averaged 20.3 minutes. The year before that, he didn’t play at all. He played for the Knicks during the ’05-’06 season and appeared in only four games, averaging 18.0 minutes.