Fan starts Dennis Rodman for Hall of Fame Facebook page

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I think this is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg had in mind in his Harvard dorm room. Use of Facebook for the greater good.

A fan of The Worm — not the one at the bottom of a Mescal bottle but Dennis Rodman — has started a  a Facebook page to urge inclusion of Rodman in the Hall of Fame. (Hall of Fame bylaws preclude Rodman from campaigning, he has nothing to do with this site.) Go there and like it, read what is on the wall  — see all the kind words written about The Worm.

Rodman is one of the finalists to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, but he is considered a long shot by most.

Which is a shame. Forget the hair and the off-the-court antics — Dennis Rodman was the best rebounder the game has ever seen. Rodman grabbed 23.4 percent of the available rebounds when he was on the floor over the course of his career. Think about that, he got nearly 1 in 4 rebounds when he was on the court for his entire career. For comparison, Dwight Howard’s career average is 20.7 percent. Rodman has a better rebound rate than Moses Malone, Dikembe Mutombo, Tim Duncan and anyone else you want to name. The only guy in the NBA having a better rebounding single season this year than Rodman did for his career is Kevin Love, and not by much.

Throw in that he was a fantastic defender and you see why he has five rings — he was among the best ever at doing the dirty work. He was seven-times on the all NBA defensive team. He got boards. He dove into the first row after a loose ball on a Tuesday night in Milwaukee not just in the finals. He intimidated. He won.

That is the kind of player who should be in the Hall, the kind of player that should be recognized. He will not be for reasons that have nothing to do with basketball. Because he once said he wanted to play a game in the nude and was a character off the court. Who cares?

Well, the voters will. And they likely only know about Facebook because their grandchildren are on it all the time. But I say we should support Rodman’s campaign even if it is a futile effort. Because sometimes futile efforts are the most worthy.

PBT Extra: Grading the top of the NBA Draft

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The Phoenix Suns got it right at the top of the draft — they took Deandre Ayton.

But what of their move to trade for Mikal Bridges, the No. 10 pick, surrendering a valuable pick and the potential of Zhaire Smith for what should be a solid “3&D” wing to go with their athletic stars?

How did the Kings do at No. 2? What about Dallas’ big trade up to land Luka Doncic at three, or the Atlanta bet on Trae Young?

In this PBT Extra, I grade the top 10 picks in the draft, from the moves I like (I think Dallas did well) to ones I’m not sold on (sorry Chicago).

 

Have questions leading up to free agency? Submit your questions via e-mail for our PBT Mailbag feature. Drop us a line at pbtmailbag@gmail.com.

Lakers’ recruiting pitch for Paul George leaks

AP Photo/R Brent Smith
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LeBron James doesn’t want elaborate pitches in free agency.

Paul George never said that, though.

So, the Lakers are apparently planning to put some showbiz into their recruitment.

Robin Lundberg of Sports Illustrated, citing a “Hollywood source,” revealed a Lakers pitch for George. The direction:

Less Morgan Freeman/Denzel Washington, and more Jamie Foxx. A bit more edge an attitude to their voice, and a bit less aspirational

The text:

When you were just a kid

In your room
Dreaming from Palmdale

We were dreaming too.

While you dreamt, we built – built for your arrival

And while we dreamt, you built too
Becoming one of the world’s greatest.

Life’s most powerful dream are the one we realize ourselves.

The ones that turn us into legends.
That kid from Palmdale always knew it
Now the world will, too

Who wrote this, noted storyteller Kobe Bryant?

My bigger question: Did or did not the Lakers, who’ve gone to great lengths to make their interest in George known, want this to leak before the official start of free agency?

Report: No divide between Chris Paul and Rockets over contract

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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That rumor of tension between Chris Paul and the Rockets over his contract?

Sam Amick of USA Today:

As for the recent report from Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard that there are rising tensions between the two sides because Paul wants the full max and isn’t sure if he’ll get it, two people with knowledge of the situation refuted the idea there is any friction between the sides.

Remember, everyone who leaks something has an agenda. But I find this report far more credible than the initial rumor.

Paul’s max projects to be about $205 million over five years. That’s a lot to commit to a 33-year-old, but Paul took a discount to facilitate an opt-in-and-trade to Houston last year. He expects to be made whole.

Until Broussard’s report, all indications were the Rockets would appease him. Barring more information, that should remain the expectation.

Report: LeBron James not planning to sit for elaborate pitch meetings in free agency

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LeBron James held court in Cleveland in 2010, listening to pitch after pitch as teams flew in to recruit the superstar during free agency. That approach became a model, and Kevin Durant followed it in the Hamptons in 2016.

But maybe once is enough.

Durant announced months ago he’d stay with the Warriors. And now LeBron – who could definitely leave Cleveland – is making clear he doesn’t want the hoopla, either.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

sources close to the situation tell ESPN that he has no intention of hearing elaborate pitch meetings from teams.

league sources believe he and his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini have enough understanding of the stakes and NBA landscape to handle the process without much fanfare.

LeBron is still haunted by The Decision. He’s a great player and philanthropist and does plenty to connect with fans. Yet, people still dislike him purely because of how he changed teams eight years ago.

If I wielded as much power as LeBron, I’d want suitors wining and dining me. He wants to avoid more backlash.

This will probably look similar to 2014 – LeBron’s agents hearing out teams then LeBron meeting with only the most serious options, though the final announcement will likely come via Uninterrupted rather than Sports Illustrated.

The Lakers, Cavaliers, Rockets and 76ers are commonly viewed as the favorites for LeBron. This approach makes it less likely for a longshot to emerge – though, for what it’s worth, we don’t know those four teams are his favorites right now.