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“Coolest Young Kid”: Shaquille O’Neal Compares His Former Teammate to LeBron James and Kobe Bryant



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As Shaquille O’Neal got together with his former teammate Penny Hardaway on NBA on TNT, he had a few interesting stories to share. For O’Neal, Hardaway was as good as any other player he had played with. If not for the injuries, Shaq felt people would have talked more about Hardaway.



“Penny is a mixture of all the other guys I’ve played with. At times, he was like D Wade because he could just take over the game. He is sort of like LeBron (James), he’s a great passer. Whenever I wanted the ball, whenever I ran the floor, he always got me the ball. We never had problems. And he had that killer instinct of Kobe (Bryant).

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And I hate to see his career cut short because of injuries. If he didn’t have injuries, people would definitely hear his name more. Penny was the coolest young kid ever since I saw D Wade, LeBron, and Kobe,” he said.

Shaquille O’Neal once had a fight with Penny Hardaway
During the session, Shaq also recalled a tussle with Hardaway. O’Neal said Hardaway did not like one of his commercials. It was a shoe commercial where Shaq would step on Lil’ Penny.

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“Me and Penny had one fight, and I’m going to tell you what happened,” Shaq said. “I was coming out with a new shoe Super Bowl weekend. And the commercial was me stepping on Lil’ Penny. That dude was so mad at me, he didn’t talk to me for three weeks.”

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O’Neal and Hardaway played together for three years for Orlando Magic. Hardaway came into the NBA when Shaq had just won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Together, they led the team to consecutive playoffs and one NBA Final. In 1996, O’Neal left Orlando Magic and went on to have a legendary career. Hardaway, on the other hand, had his career disturbed due to injuries.

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Hardaway started playing for the Phoenix Suns in 1999. He later played for New York Knicks and ended his career after reuniting with Shaq at Miami Heat in 2007. Hardaway is currently coaching Memphis Tigers in the NCAA.

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