There's nothing new about former NBA players becoming coaches after their playing days are over. Everyone from Phil Jackson to Doc Rivers played in the league and then went on to coach later. But, the latest story involving Penny Hardaway's attempt at coaching is kind of strange.
According to the Commercial Appeal, the former Magic/Suns/Knicks star is coaching basketball—middle school basketball—at Lester Middle School back in his hometown of Memphis right now. He's filling in for a head coach who is battling cancer at the moment. And, he's making major headlines in the city because of a brawl that nearly broke out during a game recently.
The Commercial Appeal says that, during a game involving Lester and a neighboring school, one of Hardaway's assistant coaches took offense to a hard foul against one of Lester's players. So, he started shouting at the opponents' bench about it. Eventually, the opposing coaches started yelling back at Lester's bench and, before long, both teams, both coaching staffs, and about 200 fans were all on the court ready to rumble. Fortunately, police were able to keep the peace and break up the large crowd before any punches were thrown. But, the incident seemed to surprise Penny.
"I wasn't aware of the middle school scene before," he said. "It's as big as high schools. You get packed crowds, very intense crowds."
Clearly. We respect Hardaway for supporting the Memphis community and filling in as head coach for Lester. But, maybe he should just stick to sneakers for now.
[via Prep Rally]
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