Rasheed Wallace, who spent part of last season as an assistant coach under Penny Hardaway at Memphis, could soon be back in the NBA.
On Monday, Hardaway said he expects Wallace will be part of new L.A. Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s coaching staff.
“I think Rasheed might be going to LA with Darvin Ham. That was the deal from the beginning,” Hardaway said. “If Darvin had gotten a job last year, Rasheed had already promised him that he was going to go with him. So, I’m thinking this year, with him getting the Lakers job, (Wallace) might still be going along with that process.”
Wallace and Ham spent parts of two seasons together as members of the Detroit Pistons, where they won an NBA title in 2004 under current Memphis assistant coach Larry Brown.
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Hardaway has two openings on his coaching staff at Memphis. One was created when Cody Toppert left for LSU in March. The other came about when Wallace left the Tigers in December 2021 after a spate of positive COVID-19 cases within the program. Last month, Wallace was back in Memphis helping Hardaway work out a number of NBA Draft hopefuls, which led to some speculation of a potential return.
Hardaway spent part of his Monday playing in the annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl charity golf tournament. Prior to teeing off, he said he is working on filling the vacancies on his staff.
“I’m having guys come in this week,” he said. “Not really mentioning names right now, but just having guys come in. Doing Zooms with guys as well. Just to kind of feel guys out.”
Hardaway told The Commercial Appeal last month he expects Brown will be back at Memphis for the 2022-23 season.
“Coach Brown, right now, is coming back,” Hardaway said. “I don’t know to what capacity. It’s literally up to him. It’s a blessing to have him around. If it’s not (as) a coach, maybe he can be assistant to the head coach or something that doesn’t have to travel and recruit and do as much (as assistant coaches).”
Reach sports writer Jason Munz at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @munzly.