Rodman to play season with Long Beach Jam
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has signed a contract to play with the Long Beach Jam of the American Basketball Association in an attempt to revive his career.
Rodman, 42, signed a contract Friday and will start practicing with the team after Christmas, said Steve Chase, president of the ABA first-year franchise.
The toughest competition below the NBA is considered to be in Europe, while the Continental Basketball Association and the National Development Basketball League also rank above the ABA as feeders into the NBA. In addition to Long Beach, the ABA has teams in Juarez and Tijuana, Mexico, Fresno, Calif., Las Vegas, Kansas City and Trenton, N.J.
Rodman, who last played in the NBA in 2000 with the Dallas Mavericks, likely will play his first game for the Jam in mid-January, Chase told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Rodman was arrested in October in Las Vegas and charged with driving under the influence after crashing a motorcyle while doing stunts outside a strip club. He also was arrested in September in Newport Beach for investigation of being drunk in public.
He led the NBA in rebounds seven times, but hasn't played since being released by the Mavericks. He played in 23 games with the Los Angeles Lakers before being released late in the 1998-99 season.
Rodman's NBA career started in 1986 in Detroit, where he played seven seasons. He also spent two years with the San Antonio Spurs and was a key member of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls teams that won championships in the 1990s.
A telephone call early Monday seeking comment from Rodman was not immediately returned.
Terms of Rodman's contract with the Jam were not released. ABA guidelines limit a franchise's player payroll to a total of $120,000 per season.
Rodman is obligated to play the rest of the season unless he is called on by an NBA team offering a contract, Chase said.
"If we're the springboard that he uses to showcase that his ability (to play in the NBA) is still there, then it's a win-win situation for Dennis, for us and for the fans in Long Beach," Chase told the Press-Telegram.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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