USA Today Sports – Wednesday on ESPN’s morning talk show Get Up! the Memphis basketball coach said his miniature alter ego, Lil Penny, would be appearing again.
“Lil Penny is actually going to be coming back out soon,” Hardaway said on the show.
Lil Penny, of course, was the star of Hardaway’s iconic Nike commercials in the 1990s, narrated by actor Chris Rock.
“Lil Penny is getting in shape,” Hardaway added. “He’s coming back.”
I don’t watch any of ESPN’s trash so I didn’t catch this news, but luckily it came across my Twitter feed tonight as I re-watch Arrested Development for the 15th time through (only the OG episodes, I’m not into the reboot). Anyone that grew up in the heyday of the Orlando Magic with Penny Hardaway and Shaq remembers how awesome the Lil Penny marketing campaign was. We loved his commercials. We loved the shoes they were trying to sell. Hell, I even had this poster in my room. I’m pretty sure it’s rolled up and in a box somewhere at my parents’ house still.
To hear that the lil man is making a comeback is great news. I’m not sure how much it takes for a puppet (is that what he is? a puppet?) to get back into shape, but that’s what he’s doing. Maybe he has to get his strings untangled and grease his hinges or something. Maybe a little touch-on the paint job too since everything it shot in HD these days. Either way, I’m fucking excited. This is one commercial I won’t fast forward through whenever the time comes. Until then, I’m just gonna have to watch his greatest hits on YouTube in-between searching for my Lil Penny poster at my parents house.
P.S. If Chris Rock doesn’t do the voice.. I riot.
P.S.S. If Penny Hardaway is only using this as a recruiting tool.. I’ll still watch, but I won’t be as happy about it.