Friday August 12, 2011
Tonight, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame will welcome more into their prestigious club. Among the new members are former Chicago Bulls assistant coach Tex Winter, Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer, eight-time NBA champion Tom “Satch” Sanders, big men Artis Gilmore and Arvydas Sabonis, the late Reece “Goose” Tatum of the Harlem Globetrotters and women’s star Teresa Edwards, who won five Olympic medals, four gold. The focus is on the two headliners who were similar in their work ethic.
Forwards Dennis Rodman and Chris Mullin played the game in an era where basketball was cutthroat. They represent an era of basketball’s golden age. Both competed with serious work regimens, but the comparisons stop there.
Rodman was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 1986 draft from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He won two championships (1989-90) during the Pistons’ “Bad Boys” era. Rodman also became a part of the second three-peat in history with the Bulls during the 1996-98 seasons. Rodman is known for his defense, becoming a member of the NBA All Defensive 1st Team (seven times) and winning the NBA All Defensive Player of the Year twice. Rodman also became the NBA rebounding champion for seven years in a row. Rodman’s fiery temper matched his tenacious game as well as his charismatic personality. By the time the game ended, you remembered Dennis Rodman.
Mullin was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 1985 draft from St. John’s University in New York. Mullin would go on to become a five-time all star and make one appearance in the NBA Finals with the Indiana Pacers. He won two gold medals, one in 1984 and one as a part of the infamous “Dream Team” in 1992. Mullin became the face of the Warrior franchise and the epitome of the word warrior. However, his contributions to the game of basketball didn’t stop there. Mullin was hired as the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Warriors and later became General Manager until 2009. Mullin currently works for ESPN as a basketball analyst.
Both players are remembered for their contributions and their hard work. Both epitomized the spirit of basketball. While they are not the greatest players in the world, they don’t have to be. Their impact only makes this sport better than it ever was. Congratulations to both Rodman and Mullin, and congratulations to all of the 2011 Hall of Fame class. You deserve it.
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