Penny Hardaway agrees to coach Memphis


Hardaway would replace Tubby Smith, who was sacked after just two months earlier this season. He has been the head coach of the Team Penny grassroots program and East High School in Memphis.

Smith, who failed to sign a single top-100 recruit, was criticized throughout his tenure at Memphis for underachieving relative to recruiting expectations.

Both James Wiseman and Chandler Lawson - the Nos. Memphis finished with a 21-13 record this season but missed the postseason for the fourth straight year. It was in Orlando at Hardaway paired with Shaquille O'Neal and ultimately reached the NBA Finals in 1995, where they fell to the Houston Rockets. The 46-year-old Hardaway played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association with four different teams. He clashed with then-coach Brian Hill in 1997, taking part in a player revolt that led to the former coach's firing.

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Early in the 1997-98 season, Hardaway suffered a major knee injury that had an impact on the rest of his career.

Tennessee reported Hardaway's expected hiring Thursday. Following a few seasons with the Knicks and Heat, he retired in 2006.

It comes as no surprise that the four words postered around the Memphis East High School gym, hashtagged across social media, and the words you most likely know the Mustangs by, are the same four words that explain Penny Hardaway's move to Memphis University Head Coach: Do It For Dez.