Skip to main content

Ja Morant is grateful to have Penny Hardaway as his 'Mentor'

Ja Morant talks about his long lasting relationship with NBA legend Penny Hardaway who was his coach when he wa still in college
Ja Morant shares how Penny Hardaway helped him grow as a player

Ja Morant is already one of the best guards in the NBA just like his mentor Penny Hardaway once was in his playing days

After three seasons in the league, Ja Morant has undeniably grown his fanbase. Some were dazzled by Morant's incredible skills and became fans. Others were already following him since his University of Memphis days, in which NBA legend Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway mentored him.

Many have seen shades of Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson on Morant's game; however, Hardaway took him under his wing early on in his life.

Grateful to have Penny

Hardaway was appointed as the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team's new head coach in 2018. At the time, Morant, who was in his last year with the team, had the opportunity to spend some time with the former Orlando Magic star.

In the 2019 NBA Draft, the Grizzlies drafted Morant as the second overall pick in that year's crop of college hoopers. Ahead of his NBA debut, the South Carolina native did not fail to acknowledge the significance of Hardaway's influence in his soaring career.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Ja Morant Is Grateful To Have Penny Hardaway As His 'Mentor'"Just having him and (assistant coach) Mike Miller take me under their wing to be a mentor for me is good," Morant told Commercial Appeal of Hardaway.

Morant is perfect for Memphis

The relationship between Hardaway and Morant did not end inside the basketball court. In their brief time together, the four-time NBA All-Star managed to get to know more about Morant as a person.

According to Hardaway, Morant was on course to achieving greater things in the sport because he chose to stay in the "right city" - Memphis.

"Just having him here and understanding his story, him coming out of nowhere, and grinding really hard to get to where he is now, he's in the right city," Hardaway said of Morant in 2019 via Commercial Appeal.

As it turned out, Hardaway was right about Morant. After three seasons with the Grizzlies, Morant made his first NBA All-Star appearance and has become one of the league's top scorers, finishing the 2021-22 regular season with 27.4 points per game, leading the Grizzlies to the second place in the western conference.

What's even more worth noting, the 22-year-old reached incredible milestones this past regular season. In just one week, Morant recorded and broke his own franchise record in points.

After racking 46 points in the Grizzlies' 116-110 victory over the Chicago Bulls on February 27, Morant picked up where he left off and dropped 52 points in the team's 118-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs two days later.

Robert Williams has shut down Bam Adebayo, and his play could end up winning the Eastern Conference Finals for the Boston Celtics

Robert Williams has shut down Bam Adebayo, which could end up winning the Eastern Conference Finals for the Boston Celtics

Williams has done a superb job of slowing down Miami's star center Bam Adebayo, and the Heat have struggled to make up for his lost production


The story of the original NBA unicorn

This guy is the closest thing we have to a Giannis Antetokounmpo comparison.

kenny anderson copy

That time when the New Jersey Nets shared showers with truckers

Compared to how teams operate these days, this is a pretty bizarre experience.

Danny Green on Gregg Popovich's greatness

Danny Green on why Gregg Popovich is good: "Because he believes he should've played in the NBA"

ccording to Danny Green, not playing in the NBA made Gregg Popovich great at what he does

Paul George reveals he struggled with sleepp inside the NBA Bubble

Paul George reveals he had sleepless nights for two weeks inside the 2020 NBA Bubble

Paul George became "Pandemic P" inside the Orlando Bubble and he revealed the reason behind his poor performances.


"It's not his fault they can't make shots"-JJ Redick defends Luka Doncic's ability to make teammates better

Redick thinks Luka is better than Magic Johnson and Larry Bird when it comes to making players around him better.

Gilbert Arenas reveals everybody hated Kobe Bryant's Mamba Mentality

Gilbert Arenas spills cold truth on Kobe Bryant: "Everybody hated the Mamba Mentality"

Gilbert Arenas dished out some truth bombs about Kobe Bryant's dreaded mantra

Magic Johnson wants the Lakers to give Russell Westbrook another chance

Magic Johnson advises the Los Angeles Lakers to keep Russell Westbrook: “Take him out, take him to dinner”

Magic Johnson said that keeping Russell Westbrook for another year is better than trading him in exchange for long-lasting bad contracts.