All The Kids Wanted To Be Penny
Orlando Magic were founded in 1989 and quickly after that, they rose up to be one of the best teams in the whole NBA league.
All the young fans loved the team from Florida because they were playing fast, attractive and we might say a basketball with soul. It was beautiful to see a young team full of talent crushing opponent’s defenses.
When Shaquille O’Neal came to the league, Orlando quickly became a dominant force and a title contender.
But there was one other guy who gave the rhythm to the Magic basketball, who gave the soul to their game and play.
His name was Penny Hardaway.
He was compared to the Magic Johnson and many experts predicted that he will be even better than the legendary player of Los Angeles Lakers.
Penny was drafted as a third pick by the Golden State Warriors, but later he was traded to Orlando Magic for the first pick overall Chris Webber, and a couple of additional picks.
That was one of the best moves in Orlando Magic’s history. They created one of the most explosive and attractive duos in the history of NBA. Shaq and Penny. They were awesome.
Penny Hardaway did amazing things on the court. His creativity and vision were something not seen on the courts around America. Until his career was ruined by a knee injury, he was probably the most popular player in the NBA after Michael Jordan. We could see this from his contract with Nike.
The greatest brand in the world designed a special pair of sneakers called Air Penny 1.
Still today this is considered the best looking pair of basketball sneakers ever designed.
During his career, Hardaway played for Orlando Magic until 1999 when he moved to the Phoenix Suns.
But to be honest that wasn’t the Penny Hardaway we remember from the 90’s. It was some guy who looks exhausted and from time to time he reminds us what kind of player he was.
When he was playing in Orlando he was 4-time NBA all-star, 2 times all-NBA first team and he reached the NBA finals in 1995, but the Houston Rockets were more experienced at that time and defeated Magic.
He was also a member of United States Olympic games basketball team in Atlanta 1996.
After that year he started having trouble with his knees and injuries.
Despite that in 1997 he became the first player in NBA history to score 40 points in the back-to-back games in the situations when his team scores less than 100 points.
We are not going to write about his later career that happened after the 90’s and all the problems he had with injuries. We want to remember the golden era of Penny Hardaway, when he was at his best and when he was the most attractive player in the NBA.
The time when he amazed the fans and all the kids wanted to be Penny Hardaway, not Michael Jordan.