‘Stop disrespecting me’: Penny Hardaway lashes out at reporter after third straight Tigers loss

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Tigers Men’s Head Basketball Coach Penny Hardaway became a viral sensation for the wrong reasons Thursday night.

During his post-game news conference, a radio talk show host and columnist asked Hardaway if he could still get it done in Memphis. And Hardaway showed everyone how much he didn’t care for the line of questioning after the Tiger’s 8th loss of the season.

Hardaway lashed out at reporters after Thursday night’s loss to SMU.

In a clip posted to Twitter and other feeds, Penny said, in part, “Y’all know we don’t have our full roster. Stop asking me stupid f***ing questions about if I can do something.”

The response came after sports columnist and Memphis radio talk show host Geoff Calkins asked Hardaway if he had lost faith that he can get the job done at Memphis and whether he was embarrassed by the team’s performance.

Here’s Penny’s full response to the question that set him off.

“I think the one thing I can say to this media because this media gets f****d up sometimes when it comes to me. We don’t have our full roster. You know we don’t have our full roster. Stop asking me stupid f***ing questions about if I feel like I can do something. If I had my roster like they did, then I feel like I can do whatever I want to do. I’m coaching really hard, my boys are playing really hard, I’m not embarrassed about nothing. We had four freshmen starting. Y’all need to act like it. Act like we got 17-, 18- and 19-year-olds out here trying to learn how to play against 22-, 23- and 24-year-old guys. C’mon, man, stop disrespecting me, bro. Don’t do that. I work too f***ing hard, I work way too hard for that. Y’all write all these b***s*** articles about me, and all I do is work. We got young kids on the floor.”

FOX13 spoke to Calkins a day after Hardaway’s outburst.

“I don’t think we know if Penny can get the job done. I think everyone in Memphis is rooting for him to get the job done,” Calkins said.

Thursday night marked Memphis’ third straight loss. It was their eighth loss in the past 12 games.

“You’re allowed to lose your temper. I’ve lost my temper in public. To me, what happened last night has nothing to do with what will happen going forward. It’s the same as it is for every coach. Can he win enough games? And because he’s Penny Hardaway, he will be given every chance to recover,” Calkins said.

The thing that had Tigers fans grumbling even before Thursday night’s loss is a team that doesn’t appear to be playing as a team.

Memphis has been favored in all 8 of their losses.

“The truth is, almost all of us who are being forced to ask hard questions about Penny were totally in favor of him being hired and thought he would be the answer for this program. Among other things, it raised the question of if we were all wrong,” Calkins said.

Memphis is scheduled to face last-place Tulsa Sunday afternoon. The Tigers haven’t won in Tulsa since March 2012.