Penny Hardaway agrees to be UofM basketball coach

Penny Hardaway and Jason Kidd were once teammates on the Suns. | Mike Fiala  AP

Penny Hardaway and Jason Kidd were once teammates on the Suns. | Mike Fiala AP

It seems it is time to add another former NBA All-Star to the college coaching ranks. The 46-year-old is replacing Tubby Smith, who was sacked just five days ago after two seasons with the Tigers.

Memphis' hire looks to add some life to a program that has struggled in the latter years of the Tubby Smith regime. His Memphis East High School team won its third straight Class AAA state championship over the weekend.

Both James Wiseman and Chandler Lawson - the Nos.

Memphis' basketball program needs a spark in the worst way, having missed out on the NCAA Tournament the past four years running.

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Memphis went 19-13 in its first season under Smith.

Hardaway rose to stardom playing alongside fellow superstar Shaquille O'Neal on the Orlando Magic teams of the mid-1990s. A unique talent given his size and ability to put the ball on the floor as a point guard, he made four All-Star teams and earned All-NBA first team honors twice. He clashed with then-coach Brian Hill in 1997, taking part in a player revolt that led to the former coach's firing. The school is expected to announce Hardaway as its next head coach on Tuesday, sources told ESPN. Following a few seasons with the Knicks and Heat, he retired in 2006.

The 46-year-old Hardaway played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association with four different teams, most notably the Orlando Magic.

Known as "Penny" because of his jersey number (No. 1), Hardaway became popular on screen as well.

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