Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway has signed with the Miami Heat, reuniting with Shaquille O’Neal, in an effort to finish his career with a championship ring. O’Neal and Hardaway previously played together with the Orlando Magic with some solid success. The Magic made the NBA Finals when the two stars were together, but their careers have taken vastly different roads since their days in Orlando.
Hardaway is a career 15.4 points per game scorer, however, he has not averaged double-digits since the 2003-04 season, when he averaged 10.6 points per game. After his time in Orlando, Penny played in Phoenix and then had a stint with the New York Knicks. Though he hasn’t played in the NBA since November 2005, Hardaway still thinks he can contribute, as does Head Coach Pat Riley. “Penny is a player who has been an All-Star and has enjoyed an illustrious career,” Riley said. “We have been impressed at his hard work and dedication this summer to get back in shape and return to the NBA. He is a skilled player who can help us in multiple positions.”
During their time in Orlando, O’Neal and Hardaway did not see eye-to-eye, which eventually led to O’Neal being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won three championship rings. However, it is believed that Shaq gave his blessing on acquiring Hardaway now that he has his rings and there is nothing for the two over-the-hill players to squabble about.
No word yet on whether ‘Lil Penny will be back or whether O’Neal and big Penny will be planning a sequel to their box office hit Blue Chips.