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Orlando Magic Blast from the Past: Penny Hardaway

February 13th, 2013 at 12:00 PM
By Josh McKinney

Following his junior season at Memphis State University (now known as the University of Memphis), Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway entered the 1993 NBA Draft. After the Golden State Warriors took him with the third overall pick, Hardaway was traded to the Orlando Magic for Chris Webber, who had been selected with the first overall pick.

'Orlando Magic' photo (c) 2009, Mike - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

In his rookie season with the Magic, Hardaway averaged 16.0 points per game to go with 6.6 assists per game and 5.4 rebounds per game, knocking down 46.6% of his shots from the field and 26.7% of his 3-point attempts. Most of those numbers increased in his second year, as he averaged 20.9 PPG, 7.2 APG and 4.4 RPG, finishing with a 51.2 field goal percentage and a 34.9 3-point field goal percentage.

During his third season in Orlando, Hardaway recorded the highest scoring average of his career (21.7 PPG), while dishing out 7.1 APG and pulling down 4.3 RPG. He notched a 51.3 field goal percentage and a 31.4 3-point field goal percentage. He followed that up with a '96-'97 campaign in which he scored 20.5 PPG to go with 5.6 APG and 4.5 RPG, shooting 44.7% from the field and 31.8% from behind the arc.

After missing 23 games the previous season, Hardaway played just 19 games in '97-'98 and 50 games in '98-'99. He averaged 16.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 3.6 APG and shot 37.7% from the floor and 30.0% from 3-point range in '97-'98 before tallying 15.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.3 APG as well as a 42.0 field goal percentage and a 28.6 3-point field goal percentage in '98-'99.

Hardaway appeared in the playoffs five times with the Magic, who won 50 games for the first time in franchise history in '93-'94 before being swept by the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the postseason. The following year, Orlando got past the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers before the Houston Rockets swept them in the NBA Finals. While the Magic lost to the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals in '95-'96, Hardaway's final two playoff appearances with them ('96-'97 and '98-'99) resulted in first-round exits at the hands of the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers.

'Phoenix Suns' photo (c) 2009, Mike - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Hardaway spent the rest of his career making two stints with the Phoenix Suns ('99-2003 and 34 games in '03-'04), two stints with the New York Knicks (42 games in '03-'04 and '04-'06) and one season with the Heat ('07-'08), where he was reunited with former Magic teammate Shaquille O'Neal. On December 12, 2007, he was waived by the Heat to make room for free agent Luke Jackson. The move was done because Hardaway only appeared in 16 games.

During his 14-year career, Hardaway was a four-time All-Star, a two-time NBA First Team performer and a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team in '94. Since he retired, he has been very active in business and the community.

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Tags: NBA, Orlando, Orlando Magic

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