Penny Hardaway was a bad dude.
You know you had game when no one since has been able to replicate it. He was a 6-7 point who could post you, spin off you, hit you with the step-back, float a sick hook shot on you, stroke the trey and drop a dime. He balled against Mike & Scottie. He was the Next Jordan. He had a mini-me. And he won. That’s what separated him from a lot of other cats. Dude won games, had the sneaker game on lock (and somehow still does), and left an undeniable imprint on the NBA, despite only being truly healthy for about four years.
How do I know this? When we posted a Who’s Better? featuring Penny, our Twitter blew up. People still love him. Grown folks love him. Even teenagers who never saw him play love him. Why? Of course, the shoes played a part. But so did the stuff he did on the court. How many players can you name who came into the league and were almost immediately talked about as one of the best in the game? It doesn’t happen too often.
With these lists, I’ve been keeping rules. But here, the only rule is that it had to be in the NBA. Nevertheless, I chose two ridiculous plays from his college career and threw them into The Best of the Rest section just because they’re so good.
So with that, here are the top 10 plays from Hardaway’s too-short career: