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'This is a very real thing': Gary Parrish discusses the impact of Penny Hardaway's candidacy for head coach of the Orlando Magic

The national college basketball columnist and host spoke with Local 24's Clayton Collier about Penny Hardaway and what his candidacy could mean for the Tigers.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — According to multiple reports, Penny Hardaway interviewed for the Orlando Magic head coaching position this weekend and is a serious candidate for the job. 

Gary Parrish, of CBS Sports and 92.9 ESPN, discussed the situation, and the implications for the Memphis Tigers with Local 24 sports reporter Clayton Collier.

Clayton Collier: "What do you make of this? Is this "All The Smoke"? Or is there actually fire here?"

Gary Parrish: "This is a very real thing. I can't promise you that Penny is going to be offered the job, and I can't promise you he would accept the offer if it was presented to him. But he is undeniably a serious candidate for the Orlando Magic vacancy. Some have labeled him as the leading candidate. Penny Hardaway has never been closer to being the former Memphis basketball coach than he is at this specific minute."

Clayton Collier: "Penny talked about all offseason long about unfinished business. What would the impact be on Penny's legacy in Memphis?"

Gary Parrish: "Some Memphis fans would be disappointed because it would run counter to what he has publicly said he wanted to do. But there is a long list of coach who have talked about unfinished business and then left for other jobs. John Calipari is an obvious example in this market. So Penny wouldn't be the first or the last to slightly contradict himself if he were to leave Memphis for Orlando. 

But to your point, it would be disappointing for a portion of the fan base, and on many levels, potentially devastating for the Memphis basketball program. Because it is never easy to hire a coach when you have an outgoing president, and an NCAA infractions case hanging over the program, but to try to do that literally in the month of July, while recruiting and while evaluations are unfolding, it makes it more complicated than it otherwise would be. It doesn't mean that Memphis couldn't end up with a good replacement for Penny Hardaway, it just makes it a more complicated process than it would be at a different point in the calendar."

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