Flashback Friday! Better Career if Injury Free: Penny Hardaway or Grant Hill?
In the Dream Team Documentary that aired a couple of days ago, it states that the Dream Team “lost” in a scrimmage to a young talented USA Select Team filled with college stars. Included on that team were Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and Grant Hill who were both supposed to be the next big thing. The future was bright for the NBA with MJ leading the way and these young stars to fill in after. They were the ones who were supposed to challenge MJ for his top spot for years to come. They were the ones that MJ was supposed to pass the torch to once he was too old. But, instead, injuries kept both Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway from reaching that top level of superstardom. Both were still good, but not what they were supposed to be. They never reached their full potential as NBA players because of many injuries before hitting their prime. Penny had a horrible knee injury in his 5th year in the League, which led to more surgeries and less productivity as his NBA career past along. Grant Hill has been able to endure his ankle injuries, but he never got back his athleticism. Hill was touted as the future of the NBA coming out of Duke back in ‘94 since MJ retired.
Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway both stood at about 6’8, were strong finishers around the rim, and had the playmaking abilities of point guards. Both were considered Point Forwards because of their versatility. Penny’s best year was his third when he averaged 21 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds while Grant Hill’s best year was his sixth year where he averaged 25, 5 dimes, and 7 boards. If Penny never got injured, his numbers would probably have been pretty close to Grant’s in that sixth year. However, we didn’t get to experience Penny nor Grant’s full potential because of their pre-prime injuries, and it resulted in both of them having to play lesser roles in their respective primes. Check out these highlights and say they wouldn’t have been a great matchup for the Post-Jordan Era.
You can’t go wrong with choosing either one, but who would you take if they had no injuries: Grant Hill or Penny Hardaway? #FlashbackFriday