anfernee hardaway will be inducted into the orlando magic team hall of fame. the question remains will this star get his due in springfield?
orlando magic will induct anfernee hardaway into the orlando magic hall of fame on friday. while “penny” left her mark
hardaway is located between mt. Rushmore of Magic Players, averaging 19.0 points per game and 6.3 assists per game in six seasons at Orlando. He was a four-time NBA All-Star and a three-time All-Nba Selection in a magical uniform.
His induction into the team’s hall of fame was not a question of if, but when. And with this being the Hall of Fame’s fourth year, Hardaway becoming the third player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is more than deserved.
While “penny” made his mark on the league with the magic, injuries plagued much of his career. His place in the team’s hall of fame is safe, but the basketball hall of fame is a much more complicated case.
Hardaway was a key contributor in bringing the magic to his first NBA Finals in 1995. He helped bring the city of Orlando onto the national stage. It’s no mystery why Orlando Magic will honor Hardaway by inducting him into the organization’s Hall of Fame.
Making the decision to trade the first overall draft pick in chris webber for little memphis state anfernee hardaway paid off immediately by magic. Hardaway helped lead the team to its first playoff berth and a 50-win season as a rookie and her first appearance in the NBA Finals as a sophomore.
his impact on the orlando magic franchise cannot be underestimated.
Throughout his 15-year NBA career, Hardaway is best known for his time in Orlando. But after suffering a knee injury early in the 1998 season, Hardaway was no longer the same player. after that, the magic advanced and transferred to the phoenix suns. he also made stops in new york and miami.
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hardaway was a four-time all-star, a two-time all-nba first teamer, and a gold medalist at the 1996 olympics. But all of those accomplishments came in the first five years.
Given his window to greatness is so short, there are questions as to whether Hardaway deserves to be immortalized with an induction into the basketball hall of fame.
basketball-reference leaves hardaway’s hall of fame probability at 28.7 percent. it would seem that he has an uphill road to consecration in springfield.
During his magic heyday, Hardaway was seen as the next guard to replace Michael Jordan. he was that cool.
As a 6-foot-7 point guard, Hardaway was compared to Magic Johnson for his talent. he was that cool.
if injuries hadn’t plagued him, there would be no doubt that hardaway is a shoe for the hall of fame.
but here we are, 10 years after retirement and five years after becoming eligible, hardaway still hasn’t gotten the call. and it is not likely that she will arrive.
hardaway was an icon for a short time. his signature sneakers outsold michael jordan’s during his playing days. hardaway became the featured athlete for the nike brand and even had an alter ego, lil’penny. hardaway was a star in every sense of the word. Along with that stardom comes attention to the NBA.
Many casual basketball fans were drawn to the game by an up-and-coming young team from Orlando. a team that could potentially unseat the dominant chicago bulls.
hardaway, being a monster athlete and a leader on that orlando team, had to play a part in that attraction to the league. even today, many fans will say that penny was the reason they fell in love with basketball.
During his best season with the Magic, Hardaway averaged 21.7 points, 7.1 assists, 2.0 steals and 4.3 rebounds per game. After 15 seasons in the league, Hardaway ended up averaging 15.2 points, 5.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 4.5 rebounds per game in his career.
The greatness he displayed early on may not have lasted his entire career, but for that short time, hardaway was the man.
his time with magic was special in itself and should not be forgotten.
Because of his size, Hardaway would often switch from point guard to shooting guard on the defensive end to protect the lead scorer from opponents and then back to point guard to take advantage of smaller players in the post. he was one of the first truly versatile guards. teams didn’t know how to handle it at either end.
Hardaway was also a point guard who could create his own shot and was looking to do so. he didn’t just distribute the ball. Following the hardaway pattern, we now see shooting guards like dwyane wade, russell westbrook and james harden who can score at will, but also have great vision to establish teammates.
maybe it’s just a matter of time for anfernee hardaway. He has been retired for 10 years now. It shouldn’t be another 10 years without him being considered for a spot in Springfield. maybe orlando’s magic hall of fame ceremony will spark some national conversation and give hardaway some consideration for the future.
Either way, Orlando Magic is doing a great job of honoring one of their truly great playing franchises by inducting Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway into their Hall of Fame.
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