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February 13, 2007

Comments

basketbawful

I hated Rodman, but not because of all the tattoos, missed practices, hairstyles, transvestite showcases, etc. It was because he was, for some unknown reason, allowed to out-and-out wrestle his opponents to the ground. Take the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals, for example. The Pistons finally beat the Celtics in a very tight series (the Celtics lost Game 3 by four points, Game 5 by six points in overtime, and Game 6 by five points). Much was made afterward of the fact that Larry Bird shot 35 percent in that series. Well, if you go back and watch the games, Rodman was mugging Bird for 40 minutes a game...but thanks largely to the Pistons' "Bad Boy" reputation and the historical allowance of overly physical play in th Eastern Conference, he was allowed to get away with it. And the Pistons went on to face the Lakers in the Finals.

(Ironically, the Pistons didn't get the same allowances against the Lakers. Case in point: with the Pistons up by a single point in Game 6, Bill Laimbeer is whistled for a ticky-tack foul against Jabbar as time expires. Kareem sinks both free throws, game over. Lousy call, and it cost the Pistons the title. And for the record, the C's weren't getting those calls in the ECFs).

Years later, Rodman did the same kind of stuff for the Bulls, first against Shaq (when he was with Orlando) and then later against Karl Malone. Everybody likes to point out how Karl Malone "choked" in the 97 and 98 Finals, but again, go back and watch how much the refs let Rodman get away with. In Game 6 of the 98 Finals, Rodman twice dragged Malone down to the floor without getting called. Do you think any player would *ever* have been allowed to pull Jordan down without getting called? It was a travesty.

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Rodman was a king under the hoops

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Thanks, I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

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