Bronny James and Memphis Basketball? Why Penny Hardaway has a chance with son LeBron – Commercial Appeal

Benny Hardaway Nobody was shy about the big names. Not as a player or as a coach.

The former NBA All-Star stood with Michael Jordan and many other greats during his time on the ground. off the field, Memphis Basketball The coach never hesitated to pursue the brightest young sports stars, such as James Wiseman, Galen Doreen and Emoney Bates.

Why should Bronny James be different? The flirtation that began weeks ago, when Hardaway appeared in several James games at Peach Jam, returned to new life on Thursday. This is when Tiger Tiger reportedly became the latest expression of interest for the 49th Class of 2023 Recruits.

James, the eldest son of NBA star LeBron James, is a 6-foot-3 point guard with a host of options ahead of him. Some consider Oregon to be a favorite (though lebron He appears to be blasting such reports on social media on Tuesday.) USC and Ohio seem to be in the mix. Could James skip college altogether, choosing instead to follow the G League Ignite route or some other professional route? That seems less likely, ESPN’s Paul Biancardi recently reported.

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So, does Hardaway have a legitimate chance of luring James to Memphis? Of course he does, even though James doesn’t have a show of tigers yet and despite their absence from BetOnline’s list of schools with high odds of getting prospect.

Here are three reasons why.

Benny Hardaway

Certainly, Hardaway has established an absolutely proven track record in terms of development. Wiseman assisted in both East High and Memphis. Precious Uchiwa was a first-round pick after a season under Hardaway. Same for Galen Doreen and Josh Minot. Lester Quinones signed a two-way deal this off season after three campaigns in Memphis. Other NBA players and NBA aspirants have sought Hardaway’s tutelage in recent years, including Quentin Grimes and RJ Hampton.

But if James’ father has any say in where his son plays, his opinion of Hardaway could provide some insight. LeBron has made his high regard for Hardaway evident on multiple occasions.

“Penny was one of my favorite players growing up,” LeBron said in 2019 after a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. “I loved Michael Jordan, but I wanted to be like Benny.”

In an Instagram post in 2020, LeBron doubled down on his affinity with Hardaway.

“My second favorite player of all time! He can watch him play every night!” Posted under tape showcasing some of Hardaway’s most impressive highlights.


Only Jordan is a more reputable basketball player sponsored by Nike than Hardaway and LeBron.

Also, part of the reason more schools aren’t associated with hiring James is because he thinks the only programs he’ll consider are those that include Nike deals. These include Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan (whose coach Joan Howard played alongside LeBron with the Miami Heat), and, I thought, Memphis.

These intersecting shades make the tiger’s argument for James even stronger.

Ashton Hardaway

If familiarity holds any water at all for James, then Memphis might end up being the place for him.

That’s because Hardaway’s son, Ashton, will team up with James at Sierra Canyon (California) this season. Both are seniors and young Hardaway is a 3-star striker with interest from the Tigers.

If James and Hardaway manage to put together a formidable combination, the prospect of keeping the band together at the next level could prove an attractive proposition.

Connect with sports writer Jason Munz at or on Twitter @unzly.

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