Anfernee Hardaway Rumors

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Anfernee Hardaway
Anfernee Hardaway
Position: None
Born: 07/18/71
Height: 6-7 / 2.01
Weight:214 lbs. / 97.5 kg.
Grant was on the B.S. Report with Bill Simmons earlier this week and spoke about his glory days with the Bulls and those Magic teams. While there was an ego struggle between O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway simmering, Grant said he believed O’Neal was ultimately going to stay in Orlando. Then he missed a phone call. He called me, and I didn’t return his call, before he signed with the Lakers. And to this day, I wish I had just answered that call, and maybe he still would have been in Orlando. I heard about it and saw it on the news, and it was like Mike Tyson hit me. You cannot recover from a guy that size, in his prime, that dominant to think you are going to win a championship. Absolutely not.
Parishioners from Light of Glory International Church gave Former NBA player and philanthropist Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway a standing ovation when they learned about his new undertaking. The church is one of three Memphis churches chosen to participate in the pre-sale of his new Penny Card Sunday, which helps the uninsured and under-insured get health care discounts. “Anything I can do to help in the city of Memphis,” said Hardaway.
Hardaway talked to the team about discipline, about class, about dignity. If you wanted to play for him, you had to focus on school. He instituted a mandatory tutorial program. He’d arrive early in the morning, stick his head in the classrooms, make sure his boys were behaving. He quizzed teachers about the players’ progress reports: What areas do they need help in? “I wanted to make sure they understood that education is more than sports,” Hardaway says. “A lot of these kids go from home to home to live. I had to make sure they’re doing their homework, make sure they’re going to class, make sure they’re not sleeping in class. … It’s all to make them know that I do care.”
With just over three minutes left in the state championship, Coach Penny Hardaway called a timeout. He didn’t like what he was seeing. Down by 15 points, his middle schoolers were quitting. It stood against everything he had instilled in them: Don’t use the inner city as an excuse to fail. You can overcome your circumstances. Always dream big. The former NBA All-Star and greatest basketball player in Memphis history huddled his team of 12 together. He looked them in the eyes. He could see his reflection from 25 years ago: young teens from the city’s roughest projects longing for positive mentors. “Just give me all you got,” he told them.
But Hardaway almost became a statistic of Binghampton before his career ever took off. The summer before his freshman year in college, he and a friend were robbed at gunpoint. The car sped off but then stopped. Gunshots rang out. One bullet ricocheted off the pavement and struck his foot. “I still think about, man, what would’ve happened if I got hit somewhere else. I could’ve passed away. I could’ve been paralyzed. Anything could’ve happened.” He would later pick the gangsters out of a police lineup. He didn’t fear retaliation “because I knew I was doing the right thing.”Such courage was drilled into him by his grandmother.
Anfernee Hardaway is caught in the middle and wants to get out. He should be completing a brilliant NBA career but bad knees robbed him of that opportunity. He sits courtside at FedEx Forum in Memphis Nov. 13, a local icon, watching former teammate Shaquille O’Neal dunk and bull his way to 14 first-half points for the Celtics against the overwhelmed Grizzlies. And he wonders, “Why couldn’t I have finished my career in grace?’’ Hardaway wants a chance to do that. At 39, he still feels he can contribute to a winning team. He believes he has enough skills left to come off the bench for spurts and enough experience to serve as a leader. “It’s not about money,’’ he said. “I saved my money, have all the money that I want. God has blessed me with that. It’s really just the love of the game.’’
“I think about how he can still help the Celtics and what they do,’’ Hardaway said. “Grant Hill is still helping the Suns. Jason Kidd is still helping the Mavericks. You got veteran guys who are still doing a great job. “Small minutes, you can do it on a nightly basis easily. It has to be a veteran team, a team that understands basketball for me to play. It can’t just be a young team that’s just trying to play.’’
Why should Penny Hardaway, Jerry Stackhouse and other well-past-their-prime current and former NBA players have all the fun lobbying for end-of -the-bench spots in Miami? At least that’s the question Heat assistant coach Keith Askins asked as old-schoolers line up in hopes of a shot to sign with Miami. “If Penny and those guys can put their names out there, I might need to think about coming back, too,” joked Askins, 42, who spent nine seasons with Miami and was a team captain.
Penny Hardaway, the man who inspired original Nike puppet in the late 90s “Lil Penny,” announced he is interested in competing for a role with the Miami Heat Thursday on an internet radio show called “The Bottom Line Sports Show.” “Mentally I was retired and physically I was retired. I was playing recreational ball,” Hardaway said. “But when the decision happened with Chris Bosh and LeBron, I felt like I could really be good in that system.”