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Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  18 responses

Dwight Howard Wants Penny Hardaway’s Jersey Retired in Orlando


Penny Hardaway suited up and played in Dwight Howard’s charity game last night, and after the former Orlando Magic superstar got a rousing ovation from the crowd, Howard suggested that the team should hang up his jersey. Per the Sentinel: “When Dwight Howard thinks of the 1990s Orlando Magic, he doesn’t think of Shaquille O’Neal, the dominant big man who Howard is so often compared to. No, Howard says he associates those Magic teams with Penny Hardaway, who made four all-star teams with the Magic and Howard thinks so highly of Hardaway, in fact, that he thinks the organization should put Hardaway’s No. 1 jersey in the Amway Center rafters as its first retired number. ‘I think when the season starts – whenever that may be – he should have his jersey put up for what he did not just the team, but for the city,’ Howard said. ‘We all know how great Penny has been for the game of basketball.’ Judging by the reaction of the crowd at Howard’s all-star game Sunday night, he might get some support for the cause. The crowd went wild when Howard introduced Hardaway to the crowd — it was, by far, the loudest ovation any player received. ‘It’s great to have him here, man, it means a lot,’ Howard continued. ‘And for the fans, I know they were happy. Hopefully he gets what he deserves down here in this city.’ It was the first time Hardaway felt love from Orlando since the Magic traded him to Phoenix in 1999. That summer, new Magic GM John Weisbrod cleaned house – also trading franchise cornerstone Nick Anderson – and Hardaway’s breakup with Orlando didn’t go smoothly. He’s had a minimal relationship with the franchise since then. No appearances. No tributes. The Magic traded for his expiring contract in 2006 and waived him before Hardaway could even get on a plane to Orlando.”

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  • http://www.twitter.com/BigFutureLG BigFuture37

    Its gonna happen if the magic know better…whatever dwight wants he gets if they want him to stay in o town lol

  • LA Huey

    I’m one of the biggest Penny’s fan out there so I’m definitely down with this. However, is there a precedent where a number is retired for a player even after another guy (T-Mac) came through and had some stellar seasons of his own in the same jersey?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think you should retire both jersey’s, just display one half the season, and the other, the other half. Just like when they were players….

  • Mo_Ab

    Penny would have been the GOAT if his career wasn’t ended by injury. Check YouTube and refresh your memory on just how amazing Penny was while healthy. Retire that man’s #1 and Shaquille’s #32 at the same time. The best combo ever!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Penny would’ve been great, maybe a hall-of-famer. But he wouldn’t have been the GOAT.
    And I was a huge Penny fan.
    His best season he put up 21, 7 and 4.
    That’s like MJ’s worst season stats. lol

  • LA Huey

    nbk, good one. Jerk.
    And co-sign Enigmatic. Let’s not get too drunk off of fandom and nostalgia here.

  • @Deknowz

    Penny is my favorite player to this day!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    haha

  • HAMMER

    “Best combo ever”? I don’t know bout that.
    Stockton/Malone, Shaq/Kobe, Jordan/Pippen, Kareem/Magic etc.., might disagree with that.
    But agreed, Penny’s # should be retired, along with Nick Anderson’s.

  • hirardu

    pennyyyyyyyyy!!!

  • robb

    I’d chose an injury free Grant Hill over and injury free Penny to reach that GOAT status, but even if they had been healthy, MJ would still be the GOAT. so no. Does Penny deserve to have his jersey retired in Orlando? Of course, he was incredible. I hope it happens.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    nah penny would’ve kept improving… and enigmatic you gotta remember he got hurt like right after putting those #’s up. If penny would’ve been healthy he could’ve made some noise in the GOAT argument.

  • guru

    what numbers did he put up in the charity game?

  • Hubert

    @datkid: Stop already.

  • ENDS

    Nick Anderson’s and Darrell Armstrong Have to go up first, (And If you dont live Here dont comment on that – Valde Divac has his jersey Retiered – nuff said) than Penny can have his

  • ENDS

    tim hardaway played less than five years with Miami and he has his Jersey up the AAA

  • Gabriel

    T-mac??? What he did for the franchise?? Nothing, he never got out of the first round and send the franchise to a lowest season with 21-61 with 18 games losing streak, Orlando should retire Penny number because he deserve it, NBA Finals, second in voting for MVP in 96′, 4 all star with orlando, and when u think of the magic glory days, were on the 90′s with Penny, T-Mac is an overrated and overhyped player that only score points never made is teammate better!!!!!

  • Byambaa

    It was Shaq who did the heavy lifting during those “glory days”. As soon as he left for LA, Penny struggled and even led a freaking coup against his coach mid-season. Without Shaq how much did Penny achieve? 2 first round exits and missed the playoffs altogether once. He also burned his team by coming back sooner from his injury to play in a damn All-Star game for god’s sake.

    I’m not saying T-Mac deserves to have his number retired because he doesn’t BUT swap Grant Hill with Shaq in those early 2000′s Magic and they would go on to be a dynasty.

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