“Balled Up Fist” Continues to Haunt Tennessee-Memphis Basketball Rivalry


The Tennessee-Memphis basketball game ended on Saturday.
But the rivalry lives on with head coaches Rick Barnes and Penny Hardaway.

During a scuffle towards the end of the game, Hardaway claims a Vols player had his fist balled up and was ready to fight. He says if you watch the film, he’s not making it up. Kind of hard to see the video evidence, but Rick Barnes decided to roll with it. He joked on the radio Monday night if host Bob Kesling had his fist balled up during the game Saturday. Hardaway didn’t find that amusing on Tuesday.

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Said Hardway:”The guy that was on the bench ran over to our side. And he balled his fist up and asked our guys pretty much like what was up. He wanted to fight. So I didn’t say it was a starter. I didn’t say it was a guy out there on the floor. But if you look at the film,then he’ll definitely eat those words. I’m going to stay respectful as long as I have to, but Rick Barnes is doing a little bit too much. He really is.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.