Thursday , Aug , 09 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Miami Heat Sign Veteran Penny Hardaway To Play With Shaquille O’Neal & Dwyane Wade

The NBA’s old school must have been inspired by by Rocky Balboa making a triumphant return for Part 6 in the boxer’s saga over Christmas. Sly Stallone doing his thing after a decade long layoff must have compelled several out of work NBA vets to run the stairs in Philly and hire seventy year old trainers to put them through the paces. Consider the past two days. Former superstar Penny Hardaway inked a deal with the Heat; sharpshooters Reggie Miller and Allan Houston have put the feelers out for a return, too …

The Associated Press reports on ‘Penny’  Hardaway signing a contract with the Miami Heat:

The 36-year-old Hardaway, who last played an NBA game in November 2005, signed with the Miami Heat on Thursday and is reuniting with O’Neal — his former Orlando Magic teammate back in the mid-1990s.

"Penny is a player who has been an All-Star and has enjoyed an illustrious career," Heat president 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 team said Hardaway wasn’t available for comment.

Hardaway, a four-time All-Star Game starter, has averaged 15.4 points in his career, but hasn’t finished a season averaging double digits in scoring since the 2002-03 season with Phoenix. He played in four games with the New York Knicks early in the 2005-06 campaign before succumbing to knee injuries.

My Quick Take:  The NBA’s old school must have been inspired by Rocky Balboa making a triumphant return for Part 6 in the boxer’s saga over Christmas. Sly Stallone doing his thing after a decade long layoff has clearly compelled several out-of-work NBA vets to run the stairs in Philly and hire seventy year old trainers to put them through workouts.

Consider the past two days. Former superstar Penny Hardaway inked a deal with the Heat; sharpshooters Reggie Miller and Allan Houston have put the feelers out for a return, too.

What’s next Charles Oakley scheming on one last shot at an NBA Title? Oh yeah, the former tough guy announced his intention to return last week.

There’s nothing wrong with these middle-aged men trying to return to The Association. Many of them were part of the golden age. So their skill, flair, and character will add to the league.

Penny will provide bench help for. He plays all three perimeter positions and can do a variety of things on the floor. Hardaway’s past beef with won’t be an issue. Both players are professionals and Shaq buried his past with Eddie Jones when the former Temple star re-joined the Heat. I don’t anticipate any problem in the locker room.

That being said, below is ‘inspiration’ for other veterans considering one last shot at an NBA contract.

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