Originally created 01/11/00

Rodman eyes NBA return

DALLAS -- Dennis Rodman lost the earrings and dyed hair, and suddenly the NBA comes calling.

The agent for the eccentric rebounding champion said Monday the Dallas Mavericks are one of three teams who want Rodman. He did not identify the other teams.

Agent Steve Chasman told The Associated Press the interest followed Rodman's appearance on the "Tonight Show" on Jan. 3. He said Rodman's "sincerity and desire to play again" came through during his interview with Jay Leno.

"His hair was normal color, he wasn't wearing any earrings. He made it made it plain he wants to concentrate only on basketball, not the off-court stuff," Chasman said.

"He really is a fierce competitor and wants to win. Everyone has been afraid to roll the dice with him, but I think his seriousness came across last week."

Rodman said he would be ready to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, if they want him. However, the Lakers, with the NBA's best record, have not shown any desire in taking another chance on him.

"Yes, Dallas is one of the clubs interested," Chasman said. "It's all preliminary at this point. Dennis would prefer to play for Phil Jackson. If not for the Lakers, he'd like to play for a team he could help lead to the championship."

Rodman has been trying to get back into the NBA since the Lakers cut him last April. But his interest was kindled when they hired Jackson, for whom Rodman played with the Chicago Bulls.

Mark Cuban, in the process of buying the Mavericks, told The Dallas Morning News on Sunday he is considering a run at the 38-year-old power forward, a Dallas native and seven-time NBA rebounding champion.

However, Rodman has created disturbances on his teams through skipped practices and legal problems. Since November, he has been arrested twice -- accused of drunken driving and fighting with wife Carmen Electra in Miami.

Before the Lakers cut him last April, he left the club at one point and was frequently a distraction.

"He is working out twice a day. He got on the court for the first time last week, and he would like to be on the court playing by February," Chasman said.

Cuban, who founded Broadcast.com, is buying the Mavericks from majority owner Ross Perot Jr., whose interest in the club admittedly was the potential profit from a new arena and other facilities being built near downtown Dallas.

An avid fan who has season tickets near the Mavericks bench, Cuban has said he will spend the money to make the club competitive again.

Chasman would not say whether the Mavericks' interest is from the current owners or from Cuban.

Rodman, a 13-year NBA veteran, would be eligible to sign for a minimum of $1 million. However, the Mavericks are over their $34 million salary cap.

Rodman would address three of the club's three most pressing needs -- rebounding, defense and drawing power.


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