This past June, rumors swirled that Memphis’s head men’s basketball coach, Penny Hardaway, was in serious consideration for the head coaching position with the Orlando Magic.
But to the relief of Tigers’ fans and his entire hometown, Penny announced he was staying at home.
“Just like I had dreams coming out of college to make it to the NBA and I achieved those goals, it was a huge goal and huge dream, it happened for me, one day in the future I would love to coach in the NBA. And wouldn’t it be great if it were the Orlando Magic? But today isn’t that day,” said Penny in his Instagram post. “Today I’m here with my players, with the fans, with the city, working hard as I can to try to bring us a national championship. That’s what I set out to do; that’s what I want to do.”
Hardaway was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1993 but traded to the Magic, along with three first-round draft picks (1996, 1998, 2000), for Chris Webber. Penny played with Orlando for six years and was a 4x All-Star there before moving to Phoenix.
Memphis, his Alma mater, hired Penny as their head coach in 2018. Over his three years at the helm, the team has gone 63-32 and has never had a losing season.
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