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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

Report: Memphis considering firing Tubby Smith, hiring Penny Hardaway

Penny Hardaway

Memphis is considering firing Tubby Smith and replacing him with Penny Hardaway, according to a report.

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish published a report on Tuesday in which he said Memphis was evaluating its head coaching situation and weighing hiring Hardaway.

Hardaway was an iconic NBA player during the mid-90s when he teamed with Shaq on the Orlando Magic. Hardaway was the No. 3 overall pick in the ’93 draft out of Memphis, where he had starred.

Since ending his playing career in 2008, Penny has gotten into coaching. He has led East High in Memphis to consecutive state titles and is going for a third. Penny also runs a successful youth program.

Memphis’ school president told the Commercial Appeal that the program will be evaluated at the end of the season. Tubby Smith is in his second season as the Tigers’ head coach. They went 19-13 last season and are 19-12 this season.

Beyond his prominence as an alumni who could energize the program and fan base, one other aspect of Hardaway that is attractive is his ties to current top recruits in the 2019 class. Memphis has to be thinking that if they were to give him the job, Penny could use his connections to perhaps get some of his players to join him in college.

After leading his school to a win on Monday night, Hardaway brushed aside coaching rumors.


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