Penny Hardaway needed very little time to secure his first recruit at Memphis.
Hardaway, a former Memphis star who went on to great success in the NBA, was officially announced as the Tigers’ new head coach on Tuesday. A successful youth and high school coach in Memphis, Hardaway has ties to many top players from the area. Those relationships already led one recruit to flip to the Tigers.
Alex Lomax requested that Wichita State release him from his national letter of intent. The Shockers said in a statement that they were respecting his wishes so that Lomax could go play for Hardaway.
A very bizarre Penny Hardaway-Larry Brown dream team will not be formed at Memphis.
Though there were some rumors that Hardaway had interest in bringing Brown on as an assistant upon landing the Memphis job, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that “multiple NCAA issues” will scuttle that possibility.
Larry Brown unlikely to be on Penny Hardaway’s staff at Memphis, source told ESPN. Multiple NCAA issues.
Brown’s tenure at SMU ended with a host of NCAA violations, and Hardaway probably won’t want to deal with that on his staff. It seemed like a rather far-flung proposal to begin with, though perhaps Hardaway will want an experienced assistant by his side as he enters the collegiate coaching ranks for the first time.
Penny Hardaway will be the next coach of the Memphis Tigers, according to a report.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported Monday that Hardaway has agreed to a deal to coach the Tigers, replacing Tubby Smith, fired after two seasons at the school.
The 46-year-old Hardaway does have coaching experience, having coached AAU while also embarking on a successful high school coaching career at Memphis East High, where he has won three consecutive state titles.
Though this has been a somewhat messy transition, Memphis will hope hiring an alum such as Hardaway can breathe some life into a program that simply hasn’t been the same since John Calipari left for Kentucky. They haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2014, and that will have to change.
The attorney for Tubby Smith is accusing Penny Hardaway of undermining his client, potentially so the former NBA coach could overtake Smith as Memphis’ new basketball coach.
Smith is 20-12 in his second season as the head coach of the Tigers, but attendance, donations and fan interest seem to be dwindling. Meanwhile, Penny, who is one of the program’s most famous alumni, has become a highly successful high school and youth coach in Memphis. There was a report during the week saying that Memphis is considering replacing Smith with Hardaway.
“If you’ve got somebody that wants the job and they’re controlling most of the talent in the city, I’m not casting aspersions. I’ll let you draw conclusions,” Lefft said, via the Commercial Appeal’s Mark Giannotto.
“But (Smith) gets hit with by the local media that he’s not getting the Memphis kids. They’re recruiting the Memphis kids. They’re bringing them on official visits. They’re making the phone calls. They’re going to the games. They’re talking to the parents … It would only be speculation on my part on what’s going on there, but it’s the worst kept secret in America that (Hardaway) wanted the job and there may come a time when coach has exited that he’ll get the job.”
Hardaway has led Memphis East High School to consecutive state titles and has ties to many top 2019 recruits. It would make sense for the program to make a switch and put Hardaway in charge, both so they can get a talented, famous coach who would energize fans, and the players who come with him. They might have to pay Smith’s buyout to do it, but that could turn out to be worthwhile.
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.
Penny Hardaway is brushing aside rumors about him potentially moving up the coaching ranks.
Hardaway is the head coach of East High School in Memphis, which beat Cordova High School 72-41 on Monday night to earn a spot into the Tennessee state basketball championships. His team has won consecutive state titles and is looking to make it three in a row.
After Monday’s game, Hardaway was asked about coaching rumors surrounding his future and dismissed the talk, via the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Mark Giannotto.
Asked East coach Penny Hardaway about all
the rumors concerning his future: "I hear the noise, but I have to ignore it because my focus is here right now."
Hardaway would be a natural fit at Memphis, his alma mater, which is currently coached by Tubby Smith. Penny also has been mentioned in connection with the Ole Miss job.
Hardaway has a recognizable name thanks to his days as an NBA player and seemingly would attract recruits. Given his roots in the area, he probably would have a great deal of success in Memphis if he were to ever get the job.
Everybody has their own definition of what constitutes a superstar, and apparently Kawhi Leonard does not fit Penny Hardaway’s.
In an appearance Monday on SiriusXM’s “Bottomline,” the retired NBA great said he doesn’t consider Leonard a superstar, citing his reserved demeanor but crediting the San Antonio Spurs forward for being “a good player.”
At the age of 26, Leonard has already racked up two All-Star appearances, two All-NBA First Team nods, two Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and a Finals MVP (not to mention that his offense may have already caught up with his otherworldy defense). But Hardaway, who, on top of his accolades, starred in a number of TV ads (most notably, Nike’s “Lil Penny” campaign) and largely kept in the limelight during his own career, fails to draw a distinction between a superstar talent and a superstar persona, which is interesting.
For what it’s worth, Hardaway’s comments come just a matter of days after this fellow ’90s star you may have heard of showered Leonard with praise, so he definitely appears to be in the minority with his appraisal of The Claw.
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]
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.
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]