Penny Hardaway was a great NBA player during the course of his career. He was part of the exciting young core of the Orlando Magic team that included Shaquille O’Neal, Horace Grant, and Nick Van Excel that went to the 1995 NBA Finals. Hardaway, unfortunately, was never able to win a championship, but there is no doubt that he was one of the most exciting stars in the league during his career.
And over the last few years, Hardaway has ventured his way into coaching. He is currently the coach of the Memphis State Tigers basketball team. Recently, their team had a pretty massive loss. During a post-game press interaction, Hardaway lost his patience with a reporter who was questioning him over the significance of this loss.
Hardaway noted that the media was trying to blow things out of proportion and that he didn’t have his full roster available to him. He accused the reporter of asking stupid questions and disrespecting him, especially since they had 4 freshman players starting because of their injury concerns.
“This media gets f*cked up sometimes when it comes to me. We don’t have our full roster, Y’all know we don't have our full roster. Stop asking me stupid f*cking questions about if I feel like I can do something. If I had my roster like they did, then I feel like I can do whatever I want to do. I'm coaching really hard. My boys are playing really hard. I'm not embarrassed about nothing… We have four freshmen starting. Y‘all need to act like it. Act like we have 17 and 18-year olds trying to learn how to play against 22, 23 and 24-year old guys. Stop disrespecting me, bro. Don't do that. I work way too f*cking hard. All I do is work.”
Clearly, Hardaway was frustrated with the loss from his team but got even more aggravated after the press questioned him over the loss. While Hardaway may feel that he was justified in his response, these kinds of comments will not help his case when it comes to being a head coach in the NBA.
Coaching a top basketball team is considered a stepping stone for many to venture into being a coach in the NBA. And comments like these show that Hardaway is not fully adept at interacting with the press while keeping a calm and cool demeanor. Perhaps this could be a learning moment for Hardaway in the future.