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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The Spur With the Blue Hair

BALTIMORE -- It was obvious that those at the scorers' table at the USAir Arena in Landover, Maryland were waiting for the moment all afternoon. San Antonio Spurs forward Dennis Rodman got mad, and in anger he slammed the basketball against the basketball post.


And at the push of a button, the theme song from the Looney Tunes cartoon filled the arena for the next 30 seconds.


Rodman has heard worse. But as strange as he appears -- from the body tattoos to the ever-changing hair color, currently blue -- the bottom line for the Spurs is that Rodman gets the job done.


"Some of the stuff that Dennis does, I don't necessarily understand," Spurs center forward David Robinson said. "But I respect the fact that most of the time I think he knows what he's doing -- on the floor, that is."


On the floor Rodman is a solid defender, and the NBA's best rebounder. He grabbed 19 rebounds in Monday's victory over the Washington Bullets, a little more than his 17.3 average. Eliminate his offensive rebounds, and his 435 defensive rebounds alone would rank him second in the NBA with a 12.8 average.


To the Spurs, Rodman, who averages few shots and just 3.8 points a game, is the type of player to make them a championship team.


"He brings the experience, he brings the toughness and the edge that a lot of these guys really need," Robinson said. "Not a lot of guys get a chance to play around a championship-type guy. Dennis can bring that experience." Rodman won two titles with the Detroit Pistons.


Rodman likes his surroundings, unlike during the past two seasons in Detroit. "I can't ask for anything better," Rodman said. "I go out there and run free, and do what I want to do. I like that. Coach John "Lucas knows me, he knows my game, and he knows how I like to be treated," Rodman added. "So I have no problem."


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By now you have heard that Detroit Pistons guard Isiah Thomas was selected to play on Dream Team II, replacing the Golden State Warriors' injured Tim Hardaway. With the aging Thomas having an off-year, the move was an injustice to Phoenix Suns point guard Kevin Johnson, who is having the best year of his career.


Johnson, who a month ago made known his interest to play on Dream Team II, did not hesitate to voice his displeasure.


"It's a joke," Johnson told reporters last week. "I guess they'll name Nick Van Exel and maybe Avery Johnson to the All-Star team.


"Maybe there's another country I could play for. But it has to be a team that has a chance to win. Maybe the Brazilian team. I'm sure there's one of my ancestors we can link up on that."


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Here's the joke making the rounds in Dallas these days:


Question: What do the Dallas Mavericks, the Texas Rangers, and Dallas Cowboys have in common?


Answer: None can play NBA basketball.


The woes of the Mavericks continued Tuesday when Dallas lost to the Phoenix Suns, 113-103, to drop their record to a league-worst 2-33. The NBA's record for futility for a season was set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1972-73 when they finished 9-73.