Four years ago Dennis Rodman, even with a little...

By RICHARD L. SHOOK, UPI Sports Writer

PONTIAC, Mich. -- Four years ago Dennis Rodman, even with a little help from a friend, couldn't beat his two sisters in a game of two-on-two basketball.

Regardless, the Detroit Pistons selected Rodman Tuesday in the second-round of the NBA draft. After all, Rodman's sisters are pretty fair basketball players. His oldest sister, Deborah, is playing professionally in Italy.


'I couldn't beat them,' said the 6-foot-8 Small College Player of the Year from Southeastern Oklahoma State. 'They'd take me and a friend of mine out and beat us all the time.'

Rodman, who came Wednesday with Detroit's No. 1 draft choice 7-foot John Salley of Georgia Tech to take a look at the Pistons, was less than 6-feet tall when he got out of high school.

He hadn't played basketball in high school and only played football as a sophomore.

'If you could only have been with me four years ago, you would have seen the kind of person I was,' Rodman said. 'I was kind of lazy. I figured I'd just work or do something.'

Rodman, certain to be the fastest player in the Pistons' camp next season, wasn't motivated.


For a year and a half after high school, Rodman didn't do much except work and drift. Meantime, 6-foot-3 Deborah, turned out to be a star on a couple of Louisiana Tech teams. She played played professionally with the then Dallas Diamonds and is now playing in Italy.

His other sister, 6-foot-1 Kim, went to Stephen F. Austin in Texas, and did well there.

Rodman began growing. Ten inches, he says, in two years. And he decided to follow his sisters' example.

'I finally decided one day if they could do it, I could do it,' Rodman said.

He averaged 26, 26.8 and 24.4 points for the Savages and topped out at 17.8 rebounds per game his senior season. His 64 percent shooting average suggests his antelope speed nets him a lot of dunks at the end of the fast break.

That his field goal mark is higher than his free throw percentage suggests something about his shooting range.

Pistons' scout Will Robinson suggested Rodman as someone worth watching at the Portsmouth Invitational post-season camp, of which the unknown was named MVP.

Salley should help Detroit in two critical areas -- shot-blocking and inside scoring.

'I don't think I played with the intensity I did last year,' admitted Salley of a senior season most felt wasn't as good as his junior year.


'But a lot of people were trying to make a name on me,' he said, 'and teams got up more for Georgia Tech this year.

'And we saw a lot of zones, we did a lot of different things with the team and I was playing a different position,' Salley said.

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