Kelvin Sampson: "This league has got good coaches and good programs."

“I don’t have to look at it. I know,” Sampson commented. "I mean I know how good Memphis is. I saw the kids they recruited. I can’t tell you how impressed the job Penny’s (Memphis Head Coach Penny Hardaway) done.

1 Like

To me, Penny is the guy who as a player underachieved in spite of major hype and one of the greatest big man of all time as a teammate, and as a coach he hasn’t proven anything except his ability to get the guy he replaced, Tubby Smith, a good coach, fired. Obviously, he is a good recruiter.

1 Like

Alright slow down on the Penny slander. The reason he underachieved as a player is injuries. He was headed for a HOF career. As far as a coach he has been solid so far. They have one loss this year with mostly Fresh and Soph and lost a top 3 lottery pick.


Sorry. I’m just hating on Memphis Tigers Basketball. Anfernee got in the way.


Lol touche

Actually…more Kelvin jedi mind tricks. He’s already got Marshall fending off feaux praise…now its Penny.

Spoken, thy Master Samson has.

So much fun being relevant in a relevant conference again. And the media likes framing KS as a kind of father-figure among our coaches.


CKS eats coaches like Penny for breakfast. And CKS knows it.


Maybe, but talent goes a long way. Some days Guy V. could just roll the ball on the court and talent would get the W.


Yeah. In his third season he was one of the top 5-7 players in the league. In his fourth season Shaq bounced, he got hurt, and his career was never the same after that.

Also, Tubby has been a great coach but in his two years at Memphis he didn’t even make the NIT. Penny made the NIT in his first year and looks poised to make the NCAAs this year (and there’s almost no way whatsoever he doesn’t at least make the NIT). I thought Tubby got kind of a raw deal with the quick hook, but it’s hard to argue that wasn’t the right move based on Penny’s start.


No. He was not even ever a top 15 NBA player. He was a good NBA player, an All-Star a few years. Many were better.


The Penny myth is a result of the shoe ads

He was first team All NBA in his second and third seasons. He finished third in MVP voting in his third season.

In his third year he was at 21.7ppg, 7.1apg, 4.3rpg, 2.0 steals per game, and .5 blocks per game with a TS% of 60.5% on a team that won 60 games (scoring was much lower back then as well).


He was wildly popular, rightfully so, he had a great ad with “Little Penny”, and had a couple of good years as a player. Even his best year in '95, he wasn’t a top 10 player, among PGs he was 4th in WS. He was never a top 5-7 player in the NBA.

Well you made him better from your previous post when you said he was never a top 15 NBA player. Now you only exclude him from the top 5-7 while he was playing. #MovinOnUp :grin:

I expected the reader to understand I was reiterating what someone else had said before and not stating an opinion at that point. Sorry if that was not clear enough.

No problem, i think i see what you’re referring to.
Don’t want to get caught up in the back n forth but imo Penny/Shaq was by far best young duo in League when the Rockets played then in ‘95’-Ship. It’s all an individual opinion but Penny could do it all for about 3 year period. I watched a lot of NBA back then…still do…and he was the “Real Deal” .

I think Penny was definitely a top 10 player during his 3 years before injury. It’s hard to go back and retrofit WS when the game was totally different and the players didn’t have this info available. Also he was 1st team All NBA twice and 3rd team once in those 3 years.

1 Like

Hard to tell exactly how great Penny was. He had Shaq to help make things look easier. And in the same vein, those Magic teams were ridiculously loaded with talent (which makes it even more awesome the Rockets swept them in the championship in 95).

He was fourth in win shares in the ENTIRE league in his third season/'95-'96 (which was his best season), not just among PGs. The three ahead of him were Jordan, David Robinson, and Karl Malone. If you want to go with other advanced metrics, he was 5th in the league in Box Plus/Minus, 4th in VORP, and 9th in PER.

When you add all that, plus his first team All-NBA selection and third finish in MVP voting (plus actually watching how good he was) it’s ludicrous to suggest he wasn’t a top 15 player that season.


You make good points. Upon reflection I have him at 14th best in 95-96 behind (in no particular order) Micheal Jordan, David Robinson, Hakeem, Clyde, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Gary Payton, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Rodman, He had a couple of very good years.

1 Like