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Rodman, Class of '11 to enter hoops Hall of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The acknowledgement list could only belong to Dennis Rodman.

There were coaches Phil Jackson and fellow inductee Tex Winter. Rodman also mentioned teammate Michael Jordan, along with rockers Eddie Vedder and Motley Crue. And he thanked that guy Stern who's coming to see him tonight.

That's Howard Stern, not the NBA commissioner.

Rodman's uncommon blend of basketball and entertainment has arrived at the sport's birthplace, where he will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame as part of the 10-person class of 2011.

"I really didn't play the game to be in the Hall of Fame. That wasn't my job," Rodman said. "My job was to go out there and win ballgames, have a good time and take care of my family. As long as the people had a good time, that was my main objective."

Dressed in all black, wearing sunglasses, an Ed Hardy tattooing hat and a scarf that read "The Worm, HOF '11" on the inside, the five-time NBA champion was the center of attention during Thursday's news conferences.

Exactly the way he likes it.

"I just love living life free. And for me to shine, I shine every damn day," Rodman said. "This is for other people here that don't get to see these famous people that's going to come in this building tomorrow."

Dream Teamer and two-time Olympic gold medalist Chris Mullin is the other headline name in the class, though much of the focus was on Rodman. Looking toward him, Stanford women's coach Tara VanDerveer joked she was so excited she was "gonna go out and get a tattoo."

VanDerveer, who has led Stanford to two national championships and won more than 800 games, joins Winter and Division II Philadelphia University coach Herb Magee, the career leader at the collegiate level with more than 900 wins, as the coaches being enshrined. Jackson will present both Rodman and Winter, whose triangle offense was used by Jackson to build dynasties in Chicago and Los Angeles.

"I don't know what's more shocking, that they didn't put Tex in 30 years ago, or they didn't make Dennis wait another 30 years," said Winter's son, Chris.

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 golds — and is entering her fifth Hall of Fame, also will be honored at Symphony Hall.

None of their speeches figures to be like Rodman's, whose seven straight rebounding titles set an NBA record and who won 70 percent of the games he played in. He wouldn't reveal what he planned to say, though did allow that he's listened to Pearl Jam as motivation for 20 years and that Vedder was an inspiration.