March 1, 2011 BY John Kim
It can be argued that the legend of Penny Hardaway was created by Nike, not by his career. Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway was undoubtedly one of the more exciting players to watch in the 1990’s and his commercial appeal made him a superstar off the court as well. His ‘Lil’ Penny’ commercials for Nike (featuring an impeccable Tyra Banks) and his role in ‘Blue Chips’ with Nick Nolte and Shaquille O’neal made him an iconic figure to more than basketball fans, but in pop media. All of that came to a halt when he suffered an injury in just his fifth season as an NBA pro, and the slightly diminished performance that followed slowly but surely pulled Hardaway out of the national spotlight. He didn’t have the prolonged greatness
However, Anfernee Penny Hardaway is still a relevant name in kicks and in basketball because of his signature line with Nike. The Air Penny line is the closest thing to the Air Jordan line, and with the current hit being the Air Foamposite One (and Pro) and Nike’s plans for yet another Air Penny hybrid (the Zoom Rookie LWP), Penny Hardaway’s name will righteously live on. For those who are staunch supporters of the Penny, here’s a rare collector’s item – a game-worn, autographed Air Max Penny 1 PE shoe (in an un-retroed colorway). Note that this rare auction is for one shoe only and not a pair! Check out this piece of Penny Hardaway history after the jump and if you’re interested, check out the auction from vivid.vintage on eBay.