The Worm couldn't wriggle out of this one.
Fed up with Dennis Rodman's novelty act, the Chicago Bulls
suspended their unruly forward Tuesday for two games without pay.
That followed his profane tirade - carried live on cable TV - aimed
at the referees and the league office after he was bounced from a
loss to Toronto.
To Rodman's defense the National Basketball Players Association
has now squirmed. The suspension will cost Rodman $104,878, which
the union says exceeds the $25,000 fine called for under the
players' collective bargaining agreement. The Bulls argue it's a
suspension, not a fine.
"We have advised Dennis of his legal options, and we will
support any decision he makes," union president Billy Hunter said.
"I don't know yet what he'll be inclined to do. I'm encouraging him
to file a grievance, and I'll offer to personally represent him if
"Never before have we seen discipline approaching this level of
severity for comments made in a locker room after a game," Hunter
said. "We believe the Bulls were motivated by other economic
concerns, as it will now be more difficult for Dennis to earn
bonuses in his contract for playing in a certain amount of games."
Rodman had a number of financial incentives written into his
contract, tied to the number of games he was available to play in.
Part of his salary is deferred if he doesn't. He can now only miss
one of the Bulls' remaining games to get what's due him: $6 million
salary. (That's besides an already deferred $3 million.)
So the sideshow to this NBA season may not be over yet.
Of course, Rodman, who loves the camera, is probably eating up
The Rodman chronicle all started, you might remember, with him
professing his boredom with the basketball life. Rodman has been
busier off the court than on it.
One minute he's hawking hotel rooms and cameras. The next he's
kissing "Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer and playing opposite
Jean-Claude Van Damme. He's on MTV and the cover of Rolling Stone,
People and his book "Bad As I Wanna Be."
And sometimes, when Rodman feels like it, he plays basketball
for the Bulls. Welcome to Worm's World.
"There's a whole world out there, bro," Rodman once said. "I
always thought I had a creative mind and was a charismatic force on
camera. People love me because I'm unique. People love me because
I'm what you'd all like to be if you could let it all hang out.
"What's going on right now in my life is very exciting," he