KEY POINTS

  • Penny Hardaway says he would've done good in today's NBA
  • Hardaway started to notice that the game had evolved during pre-game warm-ups
  • Hardaway never thought the NBA would be how it is today

NBA legend and former Orlando Magic star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway said he would have done great in today’s league.

Before Tracy McGrady rocked the no. 1 in Orlando, it was a famous number in the NBA solely because of Hardaway. During his time with the Magic, Hardaway played the best games of his career. He co-starred with dominant big man Shaquille O’Neal and rivaled with the league’s best shooting guards including Michael Jordan.

Hardaway was best known for his smooth and savvy style of slashing to the basket. Over the years, he developed a reliable jump shot and also became a good three-point shooter. Looking at how the game is played today, Hardaway thinks that he would do great against present-day players as his style of playing was exactly the way players hoop today.

In a recent interview with Hoopshype, the former Orlando superstar talked about some interesting things from his playing years and his coaching career. According to Hardaway, the defense in today’s game is wide open cause the big men are not staying inside the paint to post and the game is all about “three-point shooting.”

“Man, it would’ve been so different for me in this era because the floor is open. Back in the day, fours and fives plugged the paint because they wanted to post, but nowadays, everything is about the three-point shooting. The fours and fives are on the perimeter now, so everything is more spread out, and the lanes are wide open. For my game, that would’ve been great,” Hardaway said.

The four-time NBA All-Star went on to recall the time when he began to notice that the game has truly evolved. Something that Hardaway never thought would happen in his entire career.

“I started noticing when warm-up lines went from layups to all threes. I was like, 'Wow…' I never thought the game would evolve to this level, where the big man doesn’t want to post up anymore, and the mid-range shot is almost obsolete because it’s either threes or layups,” he added.

Hardaway was one of the most famous NBA stars of his era. But just like any other star athletes, Penny’s career was cut short by multiple injuries. After playing for the Magic, Hardaway has jumped from one team to another. He played for the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Miami Heat before finally calling it a career in 2008.

Penny Penny Hardaway drives to the basket during an NBA Finals game against Houston Rockets Photo: Yahoo Sports