Since he stepped away from the NBA more than a decade ago, Penny Hardaway has gotten into another realm with basketball. Hardaway has dipped into the coaching side of things, which has led to him becoming the head coach of the University of Memphis‘ basketball team. That has seen him experience some success with the program in his brief tenure. However, that has led to his coaching becoming the center of an attempted murder situation.
Penny Hardaway coaching at Memphis
In the years since he retired from the NBA, Penny Hardaway has stayed around basketball.
Hardaway has gone the path of coaching as he began in 2011 as he took over as his alma mater, Lester Middle School, for his friend Desmond Merriweather as he was undergoing treatment for colon cancer. He helped guide the Lester Lions to the West Tennessee State title beyond a 28-3 record.
He worked his way from being an assistant coach at East High School in Memphis and became the head coach. That saw him help guide them to three straight state championships. All that earned him the opportunity to step in as the head coach at the alma mater, University of Memphis. The former NBA star point guard has had some stable success in his first two years with the program as he has helped guide them to back-to-back 20 win campaigns.
Although they missed the NCAA Tournament in their first year, the team earned a trip to the National Invitational Tournament. The Tigers were unable to possibly secure a tournament bid this year due to the concerns over the coronavirus that saw the rest of the season canceled.
Penny Hardaway’s coaching at center of attempted murder charges
Penny Hardaway’s life has come full circle with a chance to coach at his collegiate alma mater and help them back to glory.
However, not everyone is a fan of his work as the head coach of the program. That went so far as his coaching resume so far at the university becoming the center of an argument between two cousins about that subject on July 3 led to a gun fired and charges filed for attempted second-degree murder, according to WREG Memphis.
The victim told police that he was inside the home when he got into a fight with his cousin over whether or not Hardaway was a good coach. The verbal altercation escalated and that’s when Tyrone Taylor allegedly punched the man in the face before pulling out a gun and firing.
Hardaway had nothing personally to do with the situation, but the fact that it escalated to an almost deadly incident is insane. An argument would go that crazy over his coaching job is far beyond what anybody could imagine.
There are plenty of crazy situations that happen all the time, but it being over an argument about college basketball makes no sense.
Penny Hardaway continues coaching career at Memphis
That potentially life-threatening situation aside between those two cousins strangely speaks to how valued the basketball team is in Memphis.
Penny Hardaway has helped bring stability to the program, but the team has yet to break through. Although they would have had the chance to compete for an NCAA tournament bid, some didn’t believe they had done enough to earn a spot. The school hasn’t been to the tournament since 2014 under Josh Pastner.
It saw Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Houston each vie for the conference’s top spot while Memphis struggled to make headway. Hardaway’s job is in jeopardy by any means, but there will be a stronger push from the school to get back into the NCAA tournament mix.