There was a minor scuffle late in Tennessee’s win over Memphis on Saturday. In the aftermath of it, Tigers coach Penny Hardaway had some harsh words for his Volunteer counterpart, Rick Barnes.
“I don’t know who Rick Barnes thinks I am but I’m not a dude that’s going to mess around about anything. I just call it like I see it,” Hardaway said, per Drew Hill, Memphis Commercial Appeal. “No matter how he’s trying to make things seem, and I think it’s kind of low class how he’s trying to downgrade my guys for flopping and all that. Man, come on, give me a break.”
Barnes had ripped the Memphis players for flopping during the game. Hardaway defended it by noting that Tennessee is a bigger, physical team, and that he had to find ways to counteract that.
Hardaway did call Barnes a “legend,” but wouldn’t let it stop there. He closed his session with “Rick Barnes, get the (expletive) out of here.”
We’re guessing that Barnes and Hardaway won’t be sending out Christmas Cards to each other. Unfortunately, the Volunteers and Tigers don’t play again this season. But we’ve already got next season’s game circled on the calendar.