Sunday, October 5, 2003
Nuggets' GM willing to give Rodman a chance
ESPN.com news services
The Denver Nuggets, who added young talent to the lineup when they took Carmelo Anthony with the No. 3 pick in the draft, are now in pursuit of veteran support.
Dennis Rodman is the ultimate bad boy.
General manager Kiki Vandeweghe said he is considering bringing former NBA rebounding champion Dennis Rodman in for a tryout this week, the Denver Post reported Sunday.
"We might bring him in for a day for a tryout," Vandeweghe told the paper. "We're just looking around. We've kind of kicked the idea around a little bit."
Vandeweghe has been looking for another veteran big man, according to the paper.
Rodman, 42, ranks 18th all-time in rebounds with 11,954 and has played for five championship teams. But he has been absent from the NBA since the 1999-2000 season he spent with the Dallas Mavericks.
Vandeweghe worked for the Mavericks as an assistant and director of player development while Rodman was with the team, the paper reported.
Vandeweghe has been told Rodman is in "great shape," the paper reported. Rodman, who is 6-foot-8, is a two-time NBA defensive player of the year. He led the league in rebounding seven consecutive seasons, ending in 1998. Only Wilt Chamberlain has won more NBA rebounding titles (11).
Rodman's off-court antics, which led to his dismissal from both Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers, are "definitely a concern" for Vandeweghe, the paper said. But Vandeweghe told the paper he has known Rodman for a long time and respects him.
"If he comes in and plays like everyone knows he can play and he's in great shape, it can be a great thing," Nuggets forward Ryan Bowen told the Post. "What we don't need is if he comes in and brings the other stuff with him. Some of it may be good, because our team is changing with the (NBA TV) crew and trying to get more publicity. If it comes to the point where a guy, not necessarily Rodman, comes in and disrupts what we're trying to do, then I don't know if it would be a good thing."
Nuggets assistant Adrian Dantley, who played with Rodman in Detroit from 1986-89, told the paper Rodman could help the Nuggest if he can return to the great shape for which he was known.
"If he came in, he wouldn't be the star of the minutes," Dantley told the Post. "You need that veteran guy. He's aging, but knowing Dennis, he's in shape -- and he's a smart player."