Orlando Magic legend Penny Hardaway has big praise for Golden State Warriors rookie James Wiseman, one of the best players of his class, expected to do big things in the NBA this season and the next ones. 

Wiseman only played three games in college and he’s now trying to grow and improve his level in the NBA, the highest level of basketball in the entire world. James is ready to make a big impact on the Dubs and he’s already drawing big comparisons from former players. 

Hardaway is the latest name to join that list and he delivered a big message for Wiseman, comparing the young player to one of the greatest big men of all time, who happened to be teammates with the former guard. 

Penny Hardaway compares James Wiseman to Shaquille O’Neal 

Hardaway coached Wiseman in college. It was a very short-lived stint in Memphis but the coach had the chance to see one of the most exciting players of his class first hand. Penny explained that Wiseman could use Shaq as a model for his game, but making it clear that there is a big difference between them. 

“No,” Hardaway said of the Warriors rookie, via Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “He doesn’t have the meanness that Shaq had all the time. Shaq had a chip. Shaq always had a plan. And Shaq always knew he was the best. James carries that chip now. But Shaq always knew he was the chosen one. Shaq came from a different path. He had a military base stepfather. That military background helped Shaq be tougher. James was raised with women. He had his mom and his sister. They kind of babied him and spoiled him, not in a bad way. They were firm. But it wasn’t the same.”

Wiseman is regarded as one of the most talented players of the 2020 NBA draft and he’s part of a team that can take his game to the next level. He has the tools and the desire to become a great player. Only time will tell what is his roof but this kid is ready to do big things.