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Report: Penny Hardaway a serious contender for Orlando Magic head coaching job

The Magic will interview the former star point guard for their head coaching vacancy.

Central Florida v Memphis
Penny Hardaway, head coach of the Memphis Tigers yells from the sideline against the Central Florida Knights during a game on February 1, 2021 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Central Florida 96-69.
Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic could bring a former star player back in a head coaching role.

Four-time NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway is interviewing for Orlando’s head coaching vacancy, according to Shams Charania. Hardaway is reportedly a serious contender for the role. The Magic parted ways with Steve Clifford after a 21-51 campaign.

Hardaway was an assistant coach and head coach at the high school level before ultimately joining his alma mater Memphis in a head coaching position. He is heading into his fourth season with the Tigers and is known for his ability to recruit top high school athletes, including James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. That recruiting success has also come with questions about his methods and possible violations.

The Magic are coming off a rough season, but have a lot of young talent and two lottery picks, including the No. 5 selection. This is a desirable job for a team slowly building into a contender. For Hardaway, it also would mean a reunion with the franchise and signifies any past tensions between the two parties has faded over time.