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"Even back in grade school, if I looked at my skill set, I probably should have played baseball, I probably should have stuck to swimming. But I always really loved basketball," Mullin said. "The way I was taught to play it didn't emphasize athleticism, thank God. The game, it was passing.
"When I started playing in Harlem and in the city, I always tried to figure out how I could fit in rather than try to emulate. I knew there were some things I was never going to be able to do, but also some things I did that they didn't do. Even at St. John's as a freshman, I felt very overwhelmed physically. I was slow, and just little by little as the game evolved to a team game, it made more sense to me, I could figure out where to fit in. It became more of a natural fit."
Success also came later to Rodman, who didn't even play as a high schooler in Dallas before spending his final three collegiate seasons at Southeastern Oklahoma State, an NAIA school. Though it's natural to recall his Bulls teams, Rodman has special fondness for the "Bad Boy" Pistons where he got his start.
He was in the audience last year for Pippen's induction and had no problem envisioning himself being honored, even with a career scoring average of only 7.3 points.
"Not to sound too straightforward, but I could have been in the last two or three years, but you know how politics works," Rodman said. "But I'm in, man. It's all good."
And fear not: He insists there will be no dress, but definitely "real cool stuff to wear onstage."
He's busy "living life on the edge" and "taking the bull by the horns," doing the things that fascinated fans during his playing career. He was involved in pro wrestling and is still working with former tag team partner Hulk Hogan on a weight loss challenge program (details at http://www.dennisrodmanschallenge.com/ ).
Even now, only a hair appointment could slow him down long enough to get on the phone before heading off to basketball's birthplace. And he should feel right at home -- Friday's coverage on NBA TV includes a red carpet show.
"I don't have a TV job, I don't have a radio show, I don't have a TV show, I don't have the Internet," Rodman said. "But I can go anywhere in the world, literally, on a red carpet, anything, and walk right in like I'm like one of those movie stars. It's insane, dude."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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