Penny Hardaway Rumors: Memphis HC a 'Serious Candidate' for Magic Job After Interview

AP Photo/Tony GutierrezPenny Hardaway, the Memphis men's basketball coach, has been reportedly cited as a serious suitor in the Orlando Magic head-coaching search.Shams Charania, Stadium and The Athletic reported that Hardaway was interviewed.Hardaway spent three seasons at Memphis, where he holds a record of 63-32. Hardaway's leadership has not allowed the Tigers to reach the NCAA tournament, but they were the 2021 NIT champions.Steve Clifford spent three seasons with Orlando and is now looking for a replacement. As the team prepares to rebuild, the Magic and Clifford have parted ways.Hardaway's college coaching experience and his ability to build relationships with young players could make him a great choice for the rebuilding Magic. Although it isn't clear if Hardaway is a tactical genius, he has been a great relationship builder at college level both in recruiting and developing young players.It's a great compliment to me that people mention my name. This is evident because of the long-standing relationship I have with the Magic. Hardaway earlier this month expressed an interest in coaching the Magic. This is strange because it's the timing of the whole thing. I am just beginning to understand the role as Tigers coach, and then people talk about the Magic job.It's strange, but Memphis is my heart. I don't know what the future holds. It would be an honor to coach in the NBA.The Magic do not plan to compete in the near-future, so Hardaway could develop as a coach as the roster becomes more mature.Hardaway, who played for the Magic between 1993-1999, has a significant following in Orlando.