Penny Hardaway May Have Been Given a Reality Check

Less than a week ago, Penny Hardaway was considering a return to the NBA.  He seemed extremely confident that he could provide the Miami Heat with veteran leadership in a limited role, and even rattled off some false statistics about the role he played with Miami a few years back.  Penny’s recent comments seem to indicate that he’s taken a step back.  Judging by what he told the Orlando Sentinel, I think he might have started to see it our way.

That was something that I felt in my heart that I felt my talent would match well with those guys. I wasn’t trying to come back to the league, just that I could help in that role,” Penny Hardaway told the Orlando Sentinel Monday. “If it doesn’t work out, I’m going to stay retired.”

Hardaway, a former all-star guard with the Orlando Magic, said he was taken aback by the amount of attention his announcement made saying “I didn’t think it was going to go that deep.”

Penny’s probably telling the truth about not expecting this news to turn into a big deal, but welcome to the blog era.  My personal belief is that Hardaway had a chat with his old pal Pat Riley and realized this isn’t going to happen.  I envision something along the lines of a, “Penny, you know I love you, but seriously?” conversation.  It just wouldn’t make sense for the Heat.  However, I don’t fault him for trying to be a part of something special.

Penny Hardaway tells Orlando Sentinel not trying to return to NBA [Orlando Sentinel]

Hardaway is More Delusional Than We Originally Thought

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.

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Penny Hardaway Considering a Comeback?

Talk about chasing a cheap ring. Penny Hardaway is considering a second comeback to the NBA to play for the team he was last with, the Miami Heat. Hardaway said he’s reached out to Pat Riley, who hasn’t gotten back to him yet because the Heat have a lot of names they’re dealing with at the moment. No, really? I bet most of those “names” they’re considering aren’t players who are 39 years old and haven’t played a full season in almost ten years, either. Check out the video of Penny Hardaway talking about returning to the NBA to play for the Heat, courtesy of My Fox Memphis:

During his last stint with the Heat in 2007, Penny averaged 3.8 points and 20.3 minutes per game before being released. According to Rotoworld, he’s been “tearing it up in rec leagues in Miami.” I think rec leagues is the important thing to remember here. I really don’t see the Heat wasting a penny on him (no pun intended), especially given their current cap restraints. I suppose a washed-up athlete can dream though.

Hardaway Interested in Miami Heat [My Fox Memphis]
Anfernee Hardaway: Penny Hardaway talking about return to NBA [Rotoworld]