The Miami Heat signed All-star forward Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway to a one-year, non-guaranteed, veteran-minimum contract Thursday.
The 36-year-old veteran, who last played an NBA game in November 2005, took the opportunity of reuniting with his former Orlando Magic teammate back in the mid-1990s – Shaquille O’Neal.
It’s a risky deal for the Heat as the four-time All-Star has had five surgeries on his left knee and he didn’t quite get along with center O’Neal when they were young teammates.
“Penny is a player who has been an All-Star and has enjoyed an illustrious career,” coach Pat Riley said. “We have been impressed at his hard work and dedication this summer to get back in shape and return to the NBA. He is a skilled player who can help us in multiple positions.”
The Memphis, Tennessee native is specialized as a point guard and shooting guard.
Hardaway’s play often dazzled the home crowds and awed opposing team’s fans on the road with his superb court vision coupled with a consistent scoring ability. His most productive years came in his days as a member of the Orlando Magic as well as the early portion of his period with the Phoenix Suns.
In his 13 years played in the NBA, Hardaway made it to the NBA All-Star Team in 1995, ’96, ’97 and ’98, he recorded six career triple-doubles (5 regular Season & 1 in playoffs). He also won the gold medal with the USA Men’s Basketball at the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.