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2011 Basketball Hall Of Fame Announced

Former NBA stars Dennis Rodman and Chris Mullin highlight a 13 member 2011 class for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer was also named to the class, one day after her Cardinal team lost in the Final Four. Here is more from the AP and

Also part of the class were: coaches Tex Winter, innovator of the triangle offense, and Philadelphia University’s Herb Magee; longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore; former Portland Trail Blazers center Arvydas Sabonis; Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards; Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum; and former Celtic Tom “Satch” Sanders.

When informed of the honor last week, Rodman thought it was a prank. He figured there was no way the voters could get past his outlandish antics and focus on a career in which he became one of the best rebounders in league history.

Photo by Andy Lyons/Allsport/Getty Images

Unlike Rodman, I was not surprised at Dennis’ inclusion into the HOF. The man was the best rebounder of his generation, not to mention five-time NBA champion, seven-time NBA All-Defensive first team, two-time NBA all-star, and two-time NBA defensive player of the year. That resume is clearly HOF worthy. At the end of the day, Rodman felt that his antics would keep him out of the Hall.

“I looked at the way I am, and I thought I wouldn’t get in. They looked past all the negativity and thought ‘Wow, he actually did change the game a little bit.’  I wasn’t a good scorer. I wasn’t the best athlete. But I was part of the machine,” explained a jubilant Rodman.

Photo by Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

Chris Mullin, a member of the famous ’92 dream team, was exultant as well upon hearing the news. It’s his second straight year to be involved in the HOF festivities, as he was enshrined last summer as part of the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

“It’s special to be recognized,” said Mullin. “It gives you a humble feeling to be included with all these great players, most of which I played with or dreamed of being like.”

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