The picture above? That’s how I choose to remember Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Aside from that Jordan guy in Chicago, Butch McCrae may have been the most popular player in the league during the ’90s (Grant Hill was close). He was the first of five dominant swingmen that Shaq would go out to play with in his Hall of Fame career and the guy who seemingly had the perfect game. Decent jumper, ball handling abilities something crazy and, like the picture shows, could put you on a poster when need be.
Yep, that was the Penny from ’93-’99. Classic some say. But the Anfernee of 2010? Well, he’s just a cherry-picker now. Hardaway, who last played with the Miami Heat in 2007, is looking to make a comeback. With who? Those same Miami Heat.
“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.”
Pending everything goes according to plan, who couldn’t play in that system, Penny? I’d imagine getting 10 assists per game with Bron, Wade, Bosh, Miller and Haslem running around wouldn’t be too difficult. When they said veterans would be chomping at the bits to play with “Three Amigos,” I never imagined it would bring people out the woodwork like this. According to Butch, he’s still got that burning desire to play, even if he is three years removed the game with multiple knee surgeries under his belt.
“I can understand where Michael Jordan was coming from coming out of retirement a couple times, I can understand where Brett Favre is right now,” Hardaway said. “When you still have something in the tank it’s really hard to let it go.”
Hardaway said he sent text messages to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and his former teammate Alonzo Mourning to express his interest in competing for a non guaranteed, one-year minimal role upon hearing “The Decision.”
Hardaway later added in the radio interview that he felt his veteran experience and leadership could be a benefit to younger players like Mario Chalmers.
Be a mentor, huh? Cool. Just know they say the same thing on To Catch A Predator, too. In the long run, my opinion holds about as much weight as Mel Gibson at a NAACP rally. I’m just another voice who’ll probably get drowned out in the commotion that is the thousands of others debating this topic. Yet, I’d be willing to be 100% full throttle for this “decision” pending one guarantee. You bring this guy back.