Shaq shares funny story about time Penny Hardaway stopped talking to him
Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway were teammates on the Orlando Magic for three seasons and enjoyed success during that time, and they got along well. Except for one incident.
On TNT Tuesday, Shaq shared the story of the one time he and Penny got into a fight. He shared the story because Hardaway was on the program as well.
“Me and Penny had one fight, and I’m going to tell you what happened,” Shaq said. “I was coming out with a new shoe Super Bowl weekend. And the commercial was me stepping on Lil’ Penny. That dude was so mad at me, he didn’t talk to me for three weeks.”
This appears to be the commercial:
“Lil’ Penny” is a puppet character, voiced by Chris Rock, that was created as part of an advertising campaign by Nike to help sell Penny’s shoes. Shaq was with Reebok at the time, which explains why he had somewhat of a sneaker rivalry with his then-teammate.
It sounds like they worked things out.
The Magic won at least 50 games and reached the playoffs in all three of the seasons that they had Shaq and Penny together. They even reached the NBA Finals in their second season together, where they lost to the Houston Rockets. Of course, things did not work out for Orlando as the team envisioned. Shaq left for the Lakers after four seasons in Orlando, while Penny’s promising career was derailed by a knee injury.