Rodman's rookie card
Rodman's rookie card

On March 8, less than a month after joining the Dallas Mavericks, Dennis Rodman has been waived from the team. The Worm broke his record for the shortest time with a team. Prior to this, Rodman lasted nearly two months with the LA Lakers. He was waived from the Lakers in 1999.

Before his stint with the Mavericks, Rodman has never been on a losing team in his 14-year career. The Mavericks are 4-9 since the Worm joined the team. They will miss the playoff for the 10th straight season. The only time Rodman missed the postseason was in 1992-93 with Detroit.

"We got Dennis for a run at the playoffs, and we obviously were not successful in making that run," Owner-in-waiting Mark Cuban commented on the Mavericks website. "Rather than sitting Dennis on the bench to give the other guys more time on the court, we decided it would be better to release him. This at least gives him a chance to get picked up by another team, even though he would not be eligible to play in the playoffs."

The seven-time rebounding champion has played with Detroit, San Antonio, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Rodman has won three championships with the Bulls and two with the Pistons.

When Rodman was waived from the Lakers in April (after showing up late to several practices and missing others), it appeared as if no other teams wanted to sign the colorful forward. He was well-known for off-the-court antics that led to arrests and numerous newspaper headlines. He continued to get into trouble with the law in November and December 1999.

On February 3, 2000, Rodman finally joined the Mavericks. Owner-in-waiting Mark Cuban persuaded Rodman to Dallas with conditions that allowed the colorful forward to be himself. Media reports even noted that Rodman would be allowed to devise his own customized practices without the team. Cuban wanted to improve the team and attendence by signing Rodman to the Mavericks.

Rodman's 29 days with the Dallas team has been filled with behavior that Cuban may not have anticipated. After only twelve games with the Mavericks, No. 70 was ejected twice, fined $10,000 and suspended one game, and fined again ($3,500) for failing to leave the court in a timely manner following an ejection.

Rodman appeared in 12 games for the Mavericks, all starts, and averaged 2.8 points and 14.3 rebounds per game. He had a high rebound game of 21 against New Jersey on March 2.

After Dallas' fifth consecutive loss, Rodman became openly critical about teammates, management and owner-in-waiting Mark Cuban. He criticized Cuban for behaving like a coach, rather than an owner.

Some media reports speculated that these comments led to Rodman's quick departure from the team. However, the Dallas Mavericks claim this came about due to other reasons.

"Dennis' comments had nothing to do with it. We all are upset about losing. I would do this all again and sign Dennis in a heartbeat. It was the right move, we just didn't get the wins we wanted," Mark Cuban commented. "I would also tell you that if we were three games out of a playoff position, we would not be releasing him. This has to do with creating playing time for the younger guys and creating continuity for next year. We just didn't think it would serve Dennis or the Mavs well if we just sat him down and didn't play him."

General manager-head coach Don Nelson said, "He was brought here to help us make a playoff run, which obviously hasn't happened. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the organization to play our younger players throughout the remainder of the season."

Rodman, 38, will not be eligible for the playoffs even if he is signed to another team. Watchers and collectors wonder if the Worm will return to the game or if this will be the end.

1988-89 Fleer #43 Dennis Rodman (Rookie)

March 2000:
PSA NM-MT 8 = $25
PSA Mint 9 = $40-
PSA Gem Mint 10 = 300

February 2000:
PSA NM-MT 8 = $25
PSA Mint 9 = $45
PSA Gem Mint 10 = $300

April 1999:
PSA NM 7 = $20
PSA NM-MT 8 = $32
PSA Mint 9 = $55
PSA Gem Mint 10 = 200+

Previous article about Rodman - The Worm Returns.