Rodman emotional at Hall enshrinement

Inductee Dennis Rodman acknowledges the crowd after delivering his acceptance speech during the...

Inductee Dennis Rodman acknowledges the crowd after delivering his acceptance speech during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2011 Enshrinement Ceremony. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

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, Last Updated: 12:35 AM ET

Dennis Rodman was clearly taken aback by the honor of being elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, wearing his emotions on bedazzled sleeves during his acceptance speech on Friday.

Joining Rodman in the 2011 class were Chris Mullin, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, Teresa Edwards, Tara VanDerveer, Tom "Satch" Sanders, Tex Winter, Herb Magee and Reece "Goose" Tatum.

Despite the star quality in the room, Rodman's speech was the most anticipated given his infamously flamboyant personality.

But it was Rodman's sensitive side that took over at the microphone Friday.

Joined on stage by former Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, who he helped win three NBA titles, Rodman took several seconds to compose himself before thanking those close to him and explaining his colorful antics.

"I didn't play games for the money. I didn't play games to be famous. What you see here is me being an individual who loves to be colorful," said Rodman, whose black suit was footed with white sneakers.

Arguably the premier small-forward rebounder of his generation, Rodman won a record seven consecutive rebounding titles (1991-98). He was also honored eight straight times as a member of the NBA's All-Defensive team and won five NBA titles, including two with Detroit.

Mullin, already a Hall of Famer as a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team" that was inducted last year, started the ceremony and gave a shout out to his roots.

"Looking out, I realize I'm a long way from Flatbush Avenue, but Brooklyn's definitely in the house tonight," said Mullin through his heavy accent.

Mullin was a five-time NBA All-Star and collegiate standout at St. John's, where he is still the all-time scoring leader and was named Big East Player of the Year an unprecedented three times. In addition to his 1992 gold medal, he also won Olympic gold as a collegian in 1984, then played 16 NBA seasons for Golden State and Indiana, amassing 17,911 points.

Gilmore starred for Kentucky of the old ABA, which rivaled the NBA from 1967 until merging with the more established league in 1976. He was a member of the ABA's 30-man all-time team, won one ABA title and captured the MVP award in 1972. He was also a six-time All-Star in the NBA after the merger, finishing with more than 24,000 combined points.

"Millions of people have laced up their sneakers since Dr. [James] Naismith invented the game several miles from here in 1891, and every one of them would love to be in my shoes today," Gilmore said in an eloquent speech.

Sabonis was known as one of the top big men in European history and also played in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers from 1995-2003. Considered one of the top passing centers of all-time, Sabonis was named the Euroleague's MVP and was a two-time European Player of the Year. He also won Olympic gold and bronze playing for the old Soviet Union and with his native Lithuania.

"This is a very special day for me, for my country. I'm very proud to be here," Sabonis said.

Edwards, a women's committee selection, was the first American basketball player to participate in five Olympic Games -- winning gold four times and bronze in the fifth. In college, she was a two-time All-America selection while leading Georgia to the Final Four twice.

Sanders was a member of eight NBA championship teams with the Boston Celtics from 1961-69. He also coached the Celtics and was a coach on the collegiate level at Harvard. Following his coaching career he became instrumental in the development of the NBA's Rookie Transition Program and was a founder of the player programs for the NBA.

VanDerveer, also a women's committee choice, began her collegiate coaching career in 1978 and continues today at Stanford. She has guided the Cardinal to a pair of NCAA championships with nine Final Four appearances, and has won more than 800 games during her tenure. On the international level, she guided the U.S. women to Olympic gold in 1996.

Winter began his coaching career in 1947 as an assistant with Kansas State and compiled a 454-333 record as a collegiate head coach with the Wildcats, Washington and Long Beach State. He was also part of nine NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and is known for building the foundation of the triangle-post offense that has fueled the success for both teams.

Magee has won 922 games at Division II Philadelphia University, where he has coached since 1966. His victory count is good for first all-time in NCAA basketball history for any level at the same institution and he continues to be active today at Philly U, where he has guided the school to 25 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances with one title.

Tatum, who was enshrined posthumously, was the original clown prince of the Harlem Globetrotters and would be known as a basketball ambassador around the world for more than 25 years. He would play the important pivot position in the Globetrotter offense and was one of the first to shoot the hook shot with an arm span of 84 inches.


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