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NBA / Aug 16, 2011 / 3:00 pm

Inside The Basketball Hall Of Fame Ring Ceremony

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman (photo. Mohegan Sun)

When I arrived at Mohegan Sun at 3:30 p.m. for the Basketball Hall of Fame ring ceremony, Dennis Rodman was standing in the lobby surrounded by his entourage. The journalist in me wanted to drop my bags and fire questions at him, but my polite and respectful human side held me back. So there I was, waiting for the elevator and shooting awkward glances at Rodman, somehow thinking that maybe he’d walk over to where I was and strike up a conversation with me. Of course this would lead to an impromptu gambling session where he would bankroll me in Blackjack, followed by endless hours of drunken debauchery and the greatest night of my life. Then the elevator sound came, I snapped back into reality and Rodman caught me looking at him. But I was frozen, so I kind of just kept staring. After a brief moment, he gave the “Yep, it’s me” look. Maybe not as good as I had hoped for, but good enough.

At 5:30 I headed to the cocktail hour, during which time the cheese platter and I became best of friends. Our courtship wasn’t smooth at first; it was more of an awkward dance. Free food is great, but you don’t want to come off as a hoarder. Sure, you can always take the no shame route and just stand there for an hour, but with plenty of people around, I didn’t want to be an obvious hoverer. Luckily there were a few platters scattered throughout the room so I could divert my hoarding three ways. Ultimately, though, I still had to continually rediscover the platters, pretending my palate had yet to experience the delicious array of culinary delights.

A few drinks and a lot of different bread and cheese combos later, it was time for the dinner and ring ceremony in the main room. Coaches, players and contributors walked down the center aisle (with plenty of circular tables on each side) accompanied by loud applause, as everyone’s accomplishments and contributions to basketball were announced along the way. Rodman received the loudest cheers, as he slowly strutted down the aisle with his feathered head attire.

Then, of course, came the most important part. Steak dinner. Somehow the Mohegan kitchen staff knew I liked my stake medium rare, so I was pretty psyched. The mild calm that had fallen over the entire room was a nice respite, but I knew it was merely a product of Rodman’s absence. When asked where he was going, Rodman reportedly claimed he couldn’t speak because he was “celebrating.” I thought that would be reserved for his after party at the Ultra 88 Night Club, but apparently not.

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  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    Oh to party with Rodman for a night…

  • heckler

    how the hell did Chris Mullin make it into the Hall of Fame before Reggie Miller?

    I like Chris Mullin.
    Im actually a huge fan. If I were in the league, Id model my game after him a bit.
    But dammit….hie career wasnt really Hall worthy. and if it is/was, certainly not more deserving than Reggie Miller.

    ..and they say fans shouldnt vote.
    These bumass sports writers are even worse

  • Phileus

    Julius Erving just looks bad ass. Look at that swagger in his walk.

  • http://www.geturweightup.com Chicagorilla

    @heckler

    WTF are you on? Chris mullin shits on Reggie Miller career wise and game wise. Reggie was only a shooter. That’s it, nothing else.

    Mully had complete game. Dude was one of the original Point forwards of the game. His stats alone shit all over Millers. Mullin didn’t jack up a ton of 3s and didn’t shoot a ton of FTs yet he was putting up 22-25ppg in his prime.
    Mullin had absolutley no athleticism and yet he still managed to put up 20ppg in the toughest eras in basketball history.

    Are you fucking insane? seriously. There is a reason Mullin was on the 92 dream team. Dude was a bad muthafucka in his day. Forget those years on Indiana when he was old. His Gstate days dude was the man.

  • M.L.

    But Reggie Miller averaged 20 Points in the Playoffs. Mullin wasn’t better then Reggie imo.

  • http://www.geturweightup.com Chicagorilla

    @M.L.

    Different setting for Mullin. He had Richmond and Hardaway on his team whom he had to share shot attempts with.

    Miller was the man on his team and didn’t really have anyone else that he was forced to share the ball with.

    But all in all, Miller was a better playoff performer than Mullin. Mullin was by far the more well rounded player. And with Mullins ability to score and create for himself and other teammates, I’ll take him any day over Miller.

  • M.L.

    @Chicago Gorilla i respect that, TMC Was the ish back in the day. How long u been a hoop fan?