Former NBA champ Rasheed Wallace reportedly joining Penny Hardaway's Memphis coaching staff

·2-min read

Rasheed Wallace, a 2004 NBA champion and four-time All-Star, is reportedly leveling up his coaching job. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Wallace is headed to Memphis to join Penny Hardaway's staff as an assistant coach. 

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Wallace is just the latest big name that Hardaway has added to his staff. Back in July, he hired Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown as an assistant coach. It'll be a reunion for Brown and Wallace; the two worked together from 2003 to 2005 when Wallace played for the Pistons and Brown was the head coach. They won a championship together in 2004.

Wallace isn't new to coaching. After his 16-year NBA career ended, he joined the Detroit Pistons as an assistant coach during the 2013-2014 season. However, when Stan Van Gundy was hired as head coach, Wallace wasn't asked to return. 

Wallace was hired as the head basketball coach at Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina in 2019, which is where he's been for the last two years. He was already planning to move on before Hardaway presumably called, having been named the head coach of NC Good Better Best Academy's basketball team in June. He'll be turning it down to join the staff at Memphis.

Hardaway's teams haven't had overwhelming success, but there has been progress. While they haven't reached the NCAA tournament in Hardaway's four seasons as head coach, the Tigers did win the 2021 NIT. Adding more NBA guys like Wallace and Brown could help the 2021-2022 season become a breakthrough year for Hardaway and Memphis.

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