HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Dennis Rodman claims that his inclusion in the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 was a “big surprise.”
It shouldn’t be.
Rodman’s entry to the hallowed hall should not surprise anyone, including the colorful former two-time Defensive Player of the Year, five-time NBA champ and rebounding machine.
“It’s unreal,” Rodman said earlier today in Houston, where the announcement was made. “I looked at the way I am, and I thought I wouldn’t get in.”
The travesty would have been the voters keeping Rodman out for all of the same reasons.
You can knock Rodman for all of his antics, outlandish wardrobe stunts and anything else you take issue with. But the one, rock-solid factor working in his favor is the body of work he delivered during his illustrious career, 14-year career in the league.
This is a man that led the league in rebounds a staggering seven straight years, from 1991-92 to 1997-98 and did so with an average of 15 or more boards in each of those seasons. Rodman was also selected to the league’s All-Defensive team eight times and twice named All-NBA (3rd team after the 1992-92 season and 3rd team again after the 1994-95 season).
Not bad for a guy with a career scoring average of just 7.3 points.
Congrats go out to the rest of the class: former Dream Team member Chris Mullin, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, Tex Winter, innovator of the triangle offense, Philadelphia University’s Herb Magee, longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore, former Portland Trail Blazers center Arvydas Sabonis, Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum and former Celtic Tom “Satch” Sanders.
But when that ceremony rolls around in August, it’ll be all eyes on Rodman from the hideout. And that’s not just because we expect him to dress in vintage “Worm” fashion for the affair. (Did you happen to see the giddy up he cooked up for today’s announcement? Classic!)
We’re just looking forward to seeing one of the truly great players the league has seen take his place alongside his peers.