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Magic search for head coach continues with Hardaway in mind

Penny Hardaway talking about his plans for Memphis basketball. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Penny Hardaway talking about his plans for Memphis basketball. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:27 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - About 28 years ago University of Memphis Tiger Men’s College Basketball, and the NBA Orlando Magic, became intrinsically linked in a ride that saw Memphis’ favorite hoop son, Penny Hardaway, help take the Magic to the NBA Championship Series.

Now, Penny may have the chance to leave Memphis for the Magic once again -- this time as head coach.

News of this broke over the weekend in the Athletic, with Hardaway considered a serious candidate for the Magic.

As we’ve reported, Penny is almost as beloved in Orlando, as he is here in the Bluff City. But, the deal is not done, and there are other names on the Magic’s list. 

Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, considered the best possibility to be the first woman head coach of any major men’s professional sport, has already interviewed. 

According to the Athletic’s Josh Robbins, the Magic has also requested permission to interview Suns Assistant Willie Green and Bucks Assistants Charles Lee. Both their respective teams are currently in the NBA Conference Finals. 

Also reportedly on their interview list are Nuggets Assistant Wes Unseld, the son of the Hall of Famer and the assistants on former Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford’s staff: Tyrone Corbin, Pat Delany, and Steve Hetzel. 

We have reached out to Penny for a comment, but haven’t heard back

For his part, Hardaway still actively recruiting for the Tigers, having hosted the nation’s Number 2 Recruit, Jalen Duren, this weekend, and was in Dallas Monday watching Class of 2023 5 Star recruit Ronald Holland play. There is no timeline for anything to happen, could be a week, could be a month.

For UofM’s sake, it needs to be sooner rather than later.

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