The Magic announced Monday they will honor Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway during Friday, Feb. 21's game against the Knicks as part of the organization's continuing Legends Night series to celebrate the team's 25th Anniversary.
Like the other honorees, Hardaway will join Dante Marchitelli on Magic DriveTime on 740 AM the night before, will be honored between the first and second quarter of the game and will join the Fox Sports Florida telecast during the pregame show and the second quarter.
Hardaway was a four-time All-Star with the Magic, averaging 19.0 points per game, 6.3 assists per game on 47.2 percent shooting in six seasons in Orlando. His play helped boost the Magic to a trip to the NBA Finals in their second franchise Playoff appearance.
Penny is widely considered one of the four best players in Magic history.
Since he retired, Hardaway has mostly stayed away from Orlando. His exit from the City Beautiful was not pretty. He was famously involved in the ouster of Brian Hill in the 1997 season and then faced increasing problems with his ankle injury that knocked him out of the lineup and kept him from realizing his full potential on his own. Those injuries would dog him in Phoenix and throughout the rest of his career.
Hardaway is now coaching a middle school basketball team in his hometown of Memphis. He did return to Orlando for the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2012 which produced this nice feature with him, Shaquille O'Neal and Dennis Scott reminiscing about the 1995 team and the run to the Finals.
He also returned for Dwight Howard's charity basketball game during the 2011 lockout. The point is, Hardaway is in Orlando far less often than he should be.
While his jersey will not be retired on this trip to Orlando, it will be very very nice seeing Penny in the Amway Center and in Orlando for those few days. Next Friday is going to be fun.