People have no idea how dope Penny used to be.
I remember. The biggest "what if" in basketball.
He should've been one of the greatest. Too bad creaky knees killed his career. Remember when he signed with Phoenix, and everybody thought he and Kidd was gonna comprise an all-time great backcourt? That really didn't work out according to plan. Too bad.
Yeah I remember, but really by the time he went to Phoenix he was seen as damaged goods. He was at his best in 95 and 96. When he went to Phoenix he was still good, but he was no longer Penny.
He was done in by injuries but can't we also blame the Magic? It was obvious to everyone that Brian Hill couldn't get them to the next level. Didn't know how to utilize both Shaq and Penny. They were swept by houston in 95 and swept by chicago in 96. Then came the in-fighting and before you know it, the only one left holding the bag was Penny Hardaway.
Remember that draft day trade? Orlando picked Webber and traded him to Golden State for Penny. Who had the better career, Webber or Penny? Both were stars at some point, but neither one reached the level their potential suggested.
I'd say Webber had the better career. He was better for a longer period of time. At their peaks, Penny was a better player, but his peak was only 2-3 years. I don't think either one gets to the HOF, though.
I say no to both.
"Yeah Penny was good, but to say that he was Kobe before Kobe is stretching it. Kobe has been the consensus best player in the world for the past few years now. Even though Penny was nasty, he was never considered as being the single best player in the L. The thing about Penny is that, while he was a very good all-around player, he wasn't dominant at any particular aspect of the game. He was not an explosive scorer that teams had to make adjustments to their defensive schemes. Nor was he a lock-down defender that checked the opposition's best perimeter player. Now don't get me wrong, cause Penny used to be one of my favortie players and I hope that he can come back to the L. But to compare him to Kobe is going a little overboard.."
The above was from one of the posts in Dime. That guy is delusional. He needs to watch the '96 ECF. The Magic got swept but it wasn't due to Penny not showing up. They threw Jordan and Pippen (two All NBA 1st Team Defenders) at him and he torched them both. Besides the injuries, Penny's fall also started when he lead a revolt against Chuck Daly, had him fired, and earned a leaguewide bad reputation.
Penny was good. It's hard for me to compare players but by anybody's account Penny was good. He and Kobe are two completely different players. Penny had all the tools...he could handle, he could pass, he could shoot. He played the game like a smaller Magic Johnson. Kobe, obviously, patterned his game after Jordan.
They were/are both great in their own way (i'm talking penny in his prime). If Penny wanted to (just like magic) he could have averaged 30 ppg. He was just a different player.
You put 95 or 96 Penny on those early 2000 laker teams with a prime Shaq, the best coaching staff in the league and a very underrated bench and I think they win too.
You put Kobe on the Orlando team with a young-and-not-quite-ready Shaq, brian hill and some nice pieces that don't quite match up, I don't think they win either.
The rocket is CLASSIC.