The Magic may turn to one of their former faces of the franchises to replace Steve Clifford as the team’s coach.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports thatfor Orlando’s coaching opening.
Hardaway, 49, had a 14-season NBA career that began with the Magic. He was drafted No. 3 overall in 1993 by the Warriors but was traded to the Magic as part of a package to acquiring the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Chris Webber.
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The Memphis product quickly became a star with the Magic. He made the All-Rookie team in 1994 and proceeded to make the All-Star Game in four consecutive seasons after that. During his career, Hardaway made the All-NBA team twice and averaged 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
Hardaway took up coaching after his NBA career ended. He began his career as an assistant high school coach in 2015 but quickly ascended the ranks and was hired at his alma mater in 2018. Since that time, Memphis has posted a 63-32 record. They have won at least 20 games every year and won the 2021 NIT Championship.
The Magic are considering several other coaching candidates as well. They have already interviewed Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and three assistants from Clifford’s staff: Tyrone Corbin, Pat Delany and Steve Hetzel. They plan on interviewing the following coaches as well, per The Athletic.
- Suns assistant Willie Green
- Bucks assistant Charles Lee
- Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr.
Still, Hardaway’s name would be the most familiar of the bunch for Orlando fans, and he has a reputation of being able to connect with young players.
The Magic are one of just three NBA teams with a coaching vacancy remaining along with the Pelicans and Wizards. The Celtics (Ime Udoke), Pacers (Rick Carlisle), Mavericks (Jason Kidd) and Trail Blazers (Chauncey Billups) have already filled their openings.