One of the newest additions to the Warriors this season is Rodney Carney who comes to the Warriors looking to jump-start his career and emulate the success he had in college at the University of Memphis. Carney gives the Warriors something they lacked last year- an athletic wing who can run and finish on the break. To be given an opportunity to play in a system which is built to take advantage of his skill-set, Carney is focused on making an impact on the team this year and giving Warriors’ fans even more reasons to get loud at Oracle. I sat down with Carney the other day to speak to him about why he decided to come to the Warriors, what he worked on this off-season and more, check it out.
How do you think you’ve changed from your rookie season to now?
My rookie year I was going 100 mph and no matter how fast I went guys were staying in front of me. I learned the importance of watching tape and learning from other guys like Andre Miller and Andre Igoudala that change of speed/direction is what gets you to the hole rather than just putting your head down and going 100 mph.
Why the Warriors? What made them an attractive destination?
Obviously the style of play, uptempo, fast break- which is the way I like to play and flourish in. I played in a similar system in college and hopefully this will be the best season of my professional career.
What did the team tell you they expect from you?
Just to be the best I can be. They know about my athleticism and want to see me hone in on my offensive skills. Defensively help the team out anyway I can and be ready to play when my number is called.
Preferred position, shooting guard or small forward?
Either-or, it doesn’t matter. I’m comfortable playing both positions and have played both my entire life. I can defend bigger guys, I’ve defended LeBron, Carmelo, Kobe by myself most of the time so I feel I can that responsibility. Can’t wait to get out there and show everyone.
One specific thing you worked on over the summer?
I worked on my handle and my ability to get to the hole. I can shoot the ball even though some may say I’m streaky but I’ve become more consistent over time. But this summer was primarily focused on improving my handles so I can handle the ball more and on improving my ability to get to the rim.
Work on your left hand?
Yes, I did. It’s different from when you work on it in practice and when it comes to game situations because once the lights go on and the crowd is out there you kind of fall back to what you feel more comfortable with. I’m more comfortable now and less tentative than I was in years prior.
Warriors’ fans get hyped at Oracle, how excited are you to play in front of such a rabid fan-base?
I remember the Dallas playoff series when Oracle was hyped every night and the whole world saw how dedicated the fans are out here. When I was with Philadelphia, we came here on a Monday night and building was packed which was crazy to me. Definitely excited to play in front of Oracle crowd.
Thoughts on your former Coach John Calipari leaving Memphis for Kentucky?
At first, I couldn’t believe it. He built a powerhouse in Memphis because when he first got to Memphis is was a bit shaky but during his time he brought the program up and made it what it is today. I guess when Kentucky came calling it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
3 things on your bucket list
1. Take a trip around the world-especially Egypt and Europe.
2. Bungee jumping because I’ve always wanted to do that.
3. Run the 400 in the Olympics. I ran track in high school and with proper training I think I’d be pretty nice out there.