The Orlando Magic will make the fifth addition to their team centric Hall of Fame next Friday when they enshrine Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway before the teams contest with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Hardaway will join former teammates Nick Anderson and Shaquille O’Neal, team founder Pat Williams, and longtime owner Rich DeVos in the teams Hall of Fame. The exhibit can be found on the Amway Center’s concourse level near the Nutrilite Magic Fan Experience.
One of the leaders of the first NBA Finals team in franchise history, Hardaway is very much a story of “what if?” What if he never got hurt? What if O’Neal had stayed with him, rather than leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers?
In many ways, Hardaway changed the game with his elite size and athleticism at the point guard spot. He was the first true big point guard the league had seen, using that to earn four All-Star bids in his six seasons with the franchise.
Across his six seasons, Hardaway appeared in 369 games, averaging 19 points, 6.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. In 45 career playoff games with the team, Hardaway averaged 21.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.
His performance in the 1997 playoff series against the Miami Heat will go down as one of the best in franchise history, with the Memphis product single handedly keeping the Magic in the series.
Magic CEO Alex Martins said this in a statement released by the team on Thursday.
“In continuing our tradition of honoring those who have made the most significant contributions to our history, we are honored to induct Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway into the Magic Hall of Fame. With his size, speed, and quickness, Penny electrified us on a nightly basis, while helping lead the Magic to previously unprecedented heights. His compassion in the community was equally impactful, while he also raised the Orlando Magic’s national profile.
Along with the induction prior to the game, Hardaway will also be honored at half court during the game.