HOUSTON (AP) — Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin and a trio of coaching legends are part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011.
Coaches Tex Winter, innovator of the “Triangle” offense, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and Philadelphia University’s Herb Magee were part of the class announced Monday at the Final Four in Houston.
“It’s cool, man. It’s a great feeling,” Rodman said.
Longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore, former Portland TrailBlazers center Arvydas Sabonis and Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards also will be inducted. They are joined by Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom “Satch” Sanders.
The class will be formally inducted in Springfield, Mass., in August.
When asked who helped him get to the Hall of Fame, Rodman had a simple answer: “Me.”
Rodman, known as much for his flair for fashion as his equally impressive defensive skills, did not disappoint Monday. The two-time NBA defensive player of the year wore sneakers, jeans, a black ballcap, tan vest with leopard and tan scarves, and his white shirt with gold sequined cuffs was unbuttoned and knotted at the waist, a la Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.”
For VanDerveer, Monday’s announcement was bittersweet, coming just hours after her Stanford team lost 63-62 to Texas A&M in a national semifinal in Indianapolis.
“This is kind of a tough morning to be a basketball coach for me waking up after our loss last night,” she said on a conference call. “This opportunity to be enshrined in Naismith is an incredible honor, and I’m overwhelmed by it.”
In December, VanDerveer became the sixth woman to get 800 coaching victories.
“It’s the ultimate compliment to a coach or basketball player. I’m humbled and honored. You should be really excited about it, but I wish it hadn’t come on this day. I’m not feeling great about myself or how we played. You go back and think about all the things I could have done or should have done. The sun didn’t come up this morning here.”
Five-time NBA All-Star and St. John’s all-time leading scorer Mullin learned he had made the hall in an early morning phone call that woke him up.
“I actually went back to sleep, but I slept with a big smile on my face,” Mullin said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)