Saturday, April 2, 2011
Posted: 6:41 p.m.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Dennis Rodman has been voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Rodman says he was informed Thursday to be in Houston for Monday's announcement before the championship game of the NCAA tournament.
The five-time NBA champion and two-time defensive player of the year was honored Friday night by the Detroit Pistons, who retired his No. 10 jersey during halftime of their game against the Chicago Bulls.
Rodman was among 12 finalists for the Hall of Fame this year along with players such as Jamaal Wilkes, Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin and Ralph Sampson.
The induction ceremony is in August.
Detroit selected Rodman in the second round of the 1986 draft of Southeastern Oklahoma. The native of Trenton, N.J., also played for Chicago, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas.
In 14 seasons, Rodman played in 911 games and established himself as the game's premier rebounder. He hauled in 11,954 career boards, good for an average of 13.1 per game, leading the NBA seven times in that catergory with a career-best 18.7 per contest with the Pistons in the 1991-92 season.
Joining Rodman in the class of 2011 will be former Bulls assistant coach Tex Winter. Phil Jackson's longtime assistant is the guru of the triangle offense and won six NBA Championships with the Bulls in the 1990's and three more with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The Bulls couldn't have known it at the time, but when LeBron James blocked a Derrick Rose 3-point attempt in the final seconds of Game 5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, it was the closest those Bulls would ever get to the promised land.
It happened on May 26, 2011, seven long, long, long years ago today.
The game was an ugly one and certainly a fourth quarter the Bulls would love to have back. They took a 12-point lead on a Ronnie Brewer 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining. The Heat closed the game on a 19-4 run, with James' emphatic block on Rose the lasting image of the series.
James finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, and added six assists, three steals and two blocks in 46 minutes.
Rose went just 9-for-29, finishing the series shooting 35 percent from the field after being named league MVP over James.
It's probably unfair to say James and James alone shut the Bulls' championship window. Rose's ACL tear the following postseason realistically was the biggest culprit. But these Bulls had won 62 games, had homecourt advantage, had the MVP, the Coach of the Year and all the momentum. And still they couldn't get it done against James.
That win also sent James to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. He's been there every year since, though that could change as he faces the Celtics on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.
Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.
"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"
Paxson scored 10 of 12 points for the Bulls during a fourth quarter run in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, the series clincher, and famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch that series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.
"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"
Watch the video above to see the interaction.
Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.