TSD Memphis

Sat04192014

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Same Memphis, different jersey for Carney

Grizzlies guard Tony Allen joked and congratulated former University of Memphis Tiger Rodney Carney in the locker room on Saturday (Feb. 26) directly following the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings game. Grizzlies guard Tony Allen joked and congratulated former University of Memphis Tiger Rodney Carney in the locker room on Saturday (Feb. 26) directly following the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings game.

 
 Former University of Memphis Tiger Rodney Carney scores as a Memphis Grizzlies over Darnell Jackson of Sacramento. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)

“Man you were a fan favorite tonight,” Allen said, after the Grizzlies defeated the Kings, who played without University of Memphis prodigy and NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans.

Carney laughed. He’s working his way through a 10-day contract that he signed with the Grizzlies on Feb. 21 shortly after it was learned that Rudy Gay would be out for up to four weeks due to injury.

Although the game against the Kings marked the return of Shane Battier, the second half was punctuated by some audible support for Carney.

“Carney, Carney, Carney, Carney.”

Chants from the crowd grew louder and louder. By the fourth quarter it was evident that the crowd wanted to see Carney in the game.

Head Coach Lionel Hollins obliged the fans’ call. He motioned for Carney to hit the court. Carney removed his sweat suit to prepare. A few moments later, to a loud series of applause and a standing ovation, Carney took to the floor.

He missed his first attempt but fired up his second shot that went right in and the crowd cheered.

“I’m glad he got a chance to get in the game,” Hollins said.

“It did feel like I was back out there in the old Memphis days with a different jersey on, Carney said.  “It felt pretty good. I got a good reception from the crowd.

The 6’7”, 205 lb. guard was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the 16th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He played in a total of 297 games with the 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors.

Sacramento Kings center Samuel Dalembert took notice of the crowd’s reception to Carney.

“Actually when they were calling my boy Rodney Carney out there I was excited for him,” Dalembert said.


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