Penny Hardaway Says He’s One Of The Best Players To Ever Play
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway was a dynamic point guard in the 1990’s whose playstyle was extremely entertaining. Playing in Orlando from 1993-1999 and alongside Shaquille O’Neal until 1996, Hardaway helped turn the franchise into a winning one. During his rookie season in 1993-94, his immediate impact was certainly felt as the No. 3 overall pick helped lead Orlando to their first playoff birth and 50-win season.
In his second season, Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal led the Orlando Magic all the way to the NBA Finals, which arguably was their best achievement as teammates. The following season, after the Magic’s loss to the Chicago Bulls in the ECF, and things took a down turn from there—Shaq left Orlando and Penny’s career got derailed by injuries.
Since Penny never was able to get back to full strength ever again, he became one of the biggest ‘What If’ players in NBA history.
During an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2021, Hardaway had some interesting comments about his own success, while calling himself one of the best players to ever play the game.
“I did get injured. But I showed enough in the game to know that I am one of the top players to ever play the game … When you know the game and you’re the point guard of your team, you’re an extension of the coach.”