Cohen’s Analysis: Some disapproved of Orlando’s decision to trade Chris Webber for Penny Hardaway on draft night in 1993. But almost instantly, that dithering judgment was reversed. Hardaway teamed with Shaquille O’Neal and had the Magic in championship contention by his second NBA season. He was often compared to Magic Johnson because of his all-encompassing gifts as a 6’7 point guard.
Shortly after Shaq’s departure, Penny became the sole focus of the franchise but injuries rapidly deteriorated his performance. Severe knee problems forced him to miss an abundance of games and by the time he was traded to Phoenix in 1999 Hardaway was no longer the superstar he once was.
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