Former Magic guard Hardaway gets shot at comeback with Heat
The 36-year-old Hardaway, who last played an NBA game in November 2005, signed with the Miami Heat on Thursday and is reuniting with O'Neal - his former Orlando Magic teammate back in the mid-1990s.
"Penny is a player who has been an All-Star and has enjoyed an illustrious career," Heat president Pat Riley said. "We have been impressed at his hard work and dedication this summer to get back in shape and return to the NBA. He is a skilled player who can help us in multiple positions."
The team said Hardaway wasn't available for comment.
O'Neal, who has occasionally offered less-than-glowing comments about his time with Hardaway in Orlando, told the Heat he supports the move to sign his former teammate.
Hardaway, a four-time All-Star starter, has averaged 15.4 points in his career, but hasn't finished a season averaging double digits in scoring since the 2002-03 season with Phoenix. He played in four games with the New York Knicks early in the 2005-06 campaign before succumbing to knee injuries.
Hardaway figures to be a candidate to inherit the role Eddie Jones held with the Heat at the end of last season, someone who can play either shooting guard or small forward. Jones signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks last week.
Hardaway and O'Neal teamed to average nearly 48 points per game in their three seasons together with Orlando.
Hardaway was sent to Phoenix before the 1999-2000 season in a sign-and-trade deal for forwards Pat Garrity and Danny Manning, along with two draft picks. The Suns shipped him to the Knicks midway through through the 2003-04 season, and another trade brought him back to Orlando in February 2006 - for five whole days before the Magic waived Hardaway and his $15.8 million expiring contract.
At the time, Hardaway said he planned to continue playing. A year and a half later, he's getting that opportunity.
-From CBS SportsLine.com wire reports