A heated Penny Hardaway went off on the media after his Memphis squad lost on Thursday night.
Memphis lost 70-62 to SMU to fall to 9-8 on the season and 3-4 in conference. Memphis’ record is disappointing given the recruiting success the program has had. He knows it and is preaching patience.
But one thing Hardaway will not tolerate is “stupid f—ing questions” from the media.
Hardaway was asked after Thursday’s loss whether he can still turn things around. That question set him off.
Hardaway was understandably insulted by the question. He’s a prideful coach and knows he can get the job done. And he obviously doesn’t think the reporter did their homework. If they had, they would place the season in context and recognize that DeAndre Williams, Landers Nolley II, Alex Lomax, Earl Timberlake, Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren have all missed time lately. Memphis was also starting four freshmen in the game.
But that’s the thing: some in the media, and many fans, have no patience or understanding when it comes to injuries and youth. They want results instantly and constantly. And when they don’t see results, they go after the coach. This is part of the territory that comes with the job, and Penny needs to recognize that.
If Penny can’t handle questions from the media at Memphis, how will he handle things in the NBA?
Following a 70–62 loss to SMU on Thursday night, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway unloaded in a now-viral rant that was filled with expletives.
“Stop asking me stupid [expletive] questions about if I feel like I can do something. If I had my roster like they did, then I feel like I can do whatever I want to do,” Hardaway said in part.
On Friday, Hardaway realized the err of his ways and offered a very heartfelt apology for his rant and the negative optics is brought upon Memphis.
“Memphis, I just wanted to let you guys know that I love you. Tiger Nation, I love you,” Hardaway said. “I want to issue an apology to the school, my players and to the fans. I let my emotions get the best of me last night and that’s not the way you handle situations.
“I bleed blue and I’m fighting always for my school, for my city and for my players. We’re working very hard (and) we know there is adversity right now but it’s not going to stop us from working hard. We are going to make you guys proud, we’re going to win and we are going to get through this together … to my players, let’s keep fighting on. We are 901 strong. And again, Memphis, I love you.”
Memphis (9–8, 3–4 AAC) dropped their third straight game in that loss to SMU and the eighth of their last 12. The 9-8 record through 17 games is also the worst since the 2004–05 National Invitational Tournament team under John Calipari.
Image: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Pearl has the Auburn Tigers riding high, and he did not miss his chance to sell anyone watching on the merits of his school after Saturday’s big win.
Auburn beat Kentucky 80-71 at home on Saturday to move to 18-1 on the season and seize control of the SEC. Pearl was in classic form throughout, but never more than in his postgame interview with CBS. The Auburn coach extolled the virtues of his program, ending with an appeal directly into the camera: Auburn isn’t just a football school, but an “everything school.”
That man knew right where the camera was and when to turn directly to it in order to make his pitch. You can’t teach that kind of ability.
Pearl has been a polarizing figure throughout his career, but there’s no doubt he brings excitement wherever he goes. Auburn is reaping the benefits of that right now. Besides, who wouldn’t want to play for this guy?
Creighton coach Greg McDermott had a very unique way of watching his team play without him on the bench Saturday.
McDermott missed Saturday’s game against DePaul after testing positive for COVID. Instead of watching the game in silence, the Creighton coach decided to hop on Twitter and offer running commentary on the game as he watched it on television.
McDermott’s tweets wound up looking a lot like your average fan’s. He expressed excitement after good plays, and made sure to praise stand-in coach Alan Huss after one set came off perfectly.
Perhaps the funniest message, however, was when McDermott couldn’t help but question how the game was being officiated.
As it turns out, when they’re unable to do their jobs, coaches watching their teams play really are just like us.
McDermott is far from the first coach to wind up in this situation. Others have actually avoided watching their team play live while isolating. Maybe McDermott will recommend the Twitter method for others if it actually proves a helpful outlet.