Dennis Rodman was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night, and his speech didn’t disappoint even if it wasn’t what we were expecting. Rodman showed up in one outfit, with a feather in his hat, then changed into another for his speech, including a jacket emblazoned with both “Pistons” and “Bulls” on it (didn’t see a Spurs mention there). He had multiple piercings in his face. But once he took the stage, a different Rodman showed up. No brash arrogance. No outrageous behavior. Just a world of emotion and gratitude from a man that came from struggle and played the game with ferocity, while living his life his way, for better or worse.
The Hall isn’t for recognizing personal greatness, it’s about professional greatness. But there was something deeply endearing about Rodman’s heartfelt discussion of his failures as a son, a husband, and father. And in the context of his career, two years after Michael Jordan’s audacious and borderline petty speech, in the midst of a depressing lockout, Rodman’s gratitude for the opportunity to play a game he loves and the influence of people like Phil Jackson and Chuck Daly rings true. Here’s video. Cheers to the Worm.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.