30. Penny Hardaway
To start his career, Penny Hardaway was nearly unstoppable. Like Magic Johnson before him, Penny was a huge point guard, standing 6’8 and fitting a Small Forward position. Yet his ability to pass combined with his impressive scoring prowess meant that he was always a threat with the ball in his hand. His off-ball skills were no joke either.
Penny was an amazing defender, often averaging nearly 3 steals a game. He averaged 16 points or more from when he arrived as a rookie in 1993 until the 1999-2000 season. In that time, he became a 4-time NBA All-Star with two appearances on the All-NBA First Team and one appearance on the All-NBA Third Team. However, a lot happened in the ’90s for Anfernee Hardaway. His partner on the Orlando Magic, Shaquille O’Neal, decided to leave for Los Angeles and Penny ended up getting injured.
While a baby Magic team was able to get past the three-time defending champions, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, in 1995…they were pretty much dominated when they arrived at their first NBA Finals. Though Penny and Shaq did well, it wasn’t enough. O’Neal was able to get back there but an injury-riddled Hardaway never could. After 2000, he bounced around the league until his retirement in 2008, ringless.