Orlando Magic: 3 reasons why Penny Hardaway might not be the answer

Orlando Magic Cole Anthony (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Orlando Magic Cole Anthony (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic Jonathan Isaac (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Why Penny Hardaway may not be the answer for the Orlando Magic: Great Players don’t have a great track record as a coach

To Penny’s credit, he’s a different person than all the guys I’m going to name, and so far he’s done a fair job at the college level. However, in Penny’s prime as a player, he undoubtedly was one of the greatest in the game.

A6-foot-8 guard that could handle like a 6-foot-2 guard and get by you just as good as a wing, and blend that together with great passing skills and un-coachable court vision, that’s a dangerous mix of skills, especially at the time.

There’s been a list of hall of fame players or great players that have been head coaches that just simply haven’t worked out. It’s similar to the same reason why centers or “big men” in the NBA can’t sell shoes but every great guard can. Does anyone have a bunch of pairs of Shaq’s signature shoes? How about Patrick Ewing? Okay now, how popular are Kobe’s, LeBron’s, Curry’s, and the big daddy of them all, Jordan’s. It’s the same with great players retiring and becoming head coaches, it’s just not a thing.

I’m not sure what the reasoning is, it may be that they feel arrogant and it doesn’t resonate with their players. It may be that their name gets them the job before they have any real coaching experience and it’s vastly different than they expected. It could be that it’s just a coincidence, but no matter how you look at it, history tells us that all-time players make bad NBA coaches.

You look at Magic Johnson’s brief stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, pretty much a dumpster fire. Isaiah Thomas with Pacers and Knicks, a total win-loss record of 187-223. Not good, not the worst thing we’ve ever seen, but has he been a coach since then? Bob Cousy (141-207), Wes Unseld (202-345), Willis Reed (82-124), and I’ll even throw Kevin McHale (232-185) in there as well.

These guys were all animals as players, guys who if you had on your team in their prime, put you in a good position to be successful. This is what I’m sure many owners and general managers thought was going to happen when they hired them as coaches. It just didn’t happen.