Will Perdue was a solid NBA player, who averaged 4.7 points per game across a 13-year career. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of production, especially when you’re playing with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Plenty of players would trade places with him just for a chance at one of his four championship rings. He just isn’t the sort of player one would expect to be traded for a Hall of Famer.
But on October 3, 1995, Perdue was dealt straight up for Dennis Rodman, who was still in his prime from a production standpoint. There were no draft picks involved. No other players. Not even a bit of cash. Chicago gave up a backup center and received a Third-Team All-NBA forward. In a modern NBA that routinely sees superstars traded for packages featuring several elite young players and valuable draft assets, such a deal is practically unthinkable.
The deal was the result of perhaps the most precipitous non-injury-related decline in trade value in NBA history. In the 1993 offseason, Rodman demanded a trade from the Detroit Pistons and was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs. The return for Detroit was substantial: 24-year-old All-Star Sean Elliott. In two years, Rodman managed to go from a player worthy of being traded for a young star to one who could only net a backup center. In those two years, his numbers were largely steady, he received numerous on-court accolades, and he suffered no career-altering injuries.
So how did the Bulls manage to snag Rodman for such a historically low price? There were three principal factors driving down Rodman’s trade value, so we’ll start with the obvious:
1. Rodman’s erratic off-court behavior
Perhaps San Antonio should have recognized the risk in trading for Rodman based on his behavior during his final season in Detroit. Rodman was extremely close with former Pistons coach Chuck Daly, whose resignation in 1992 seemingly sparked a change in the former Defensive Player of the Year. Rodman skipped training camp in 1992 and was fined $68,000. He was suspended three games for refusing to go on a road trip. But the low undoubtedly came in February of 1993, when he was found asleep in his truck outside of The Palace at Auburn Hills with a rifle. Rodman described the events in ESPN’s documentary about him, “Rodman: For Better or Worse” as the beginning of a transformation.
“When I put the gun to my head, I wasn’t trying to shoot Dennis Rodman,” he said. “I was trying to change the old one so that the new one could come out.”
The new Rodman may be best-known for dating Madonna, dying his hair and becoming one of the NBA’s most notorious partiers, but it was his conduct as a basketball player that ultimately irked the Spurs. He was fined a total of $32,500 during his first season in San Antonio for four separate incidents and was suspended a total of three games. He headbutted multiple opposing players, including then-Bull Stacey King, and things only got worse from there.
Rodman’s second season in San Antonio reads like a Mad Lib. In November, he threw a bag of ice at Spurs coach Bob Hill after being ejected from an exhibition game. He separated his shoulder in a motorcycle accident. He took a leave of absence from the team, was late to games and teams events and was again suspended on multiple occasions. Things came to a head in the 1995 playoffs.
In the middle of Game 3 of San Antonio’s second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Rodman took off his shoes and sat down by the training table. He did not join team huddles, instead choosing to simply watch the game. Hill did not put him back on the floor in Game 3, and then-Spurs general manager Gregg Popovich suspended him for Game 4. In his biography, “Bad as I Wanna Be,” Rodman viewed the decision as one approved by the entire team.
“The players wanted to take a stand against me,” Rodman wrote. “Management wanted to take a stand against me. The whole organization wanted to send a message to me.”
Rodman viewed that as the moment in which he knew he would not return to San Antonio. Spurs star David Robinson made the team’s sentiment at that point perfectly clear.
“I want him back,” Robinson said according to the New York Times. “But with the right frame of mind.”
Rodman was not in the right frame of mind, and that was the final straw. San Antonio was so fed up with his antics that it resolved to trade him. But at that point, interest was virtually non-existent. His behavior was a big reason for that, but there was another driving factor in that soft market.
2. The Spurs had no leverage whatsoever
The NBA knew that Rodman was not long for San Antonio. The Spurs not only considered making him available in the 1995 Expansion Draft, but may have released him outright had the Bulls not come along with a trade, according to the Los Angeles Times. They were extremely fortunate that they did, because the Spurs simply didn’t have anywhere else to send Rodman.
Never has the NBA had a greater abundance of talent at the power forward position than the mid-1990’s. Considering Rodman’s age (34 during the 1995 offseason), it stood to reason that only a contender would be interested. It just so happened that every winning team was set at power forward … except Chicago. Besides Rodman’s Spurs, nine teams finished above the Bulls in the 1994-95 standings. Four of them had power forwards that made the All-Star Game in 1995 (Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Shawn Kemp and Larry Johnson). Orlando had just stolen Horace Grant from the Bulls. Houston had just won a championship with Robert Horry. The Knicks (Charles Oakley), Lakers (Elden Campbell) and Pacers (Dale and Antonio Davis) all had solid veterans that weren’t going to be displaced. San Antonio had nowhere to trade Rodman except Chicago.
And the Bulls were hardly a slam dunk. There was a major hangup that could have nixed the deal in its infancy.
“Scottie [Pippen] was totally against it,” Michael Jordan explained in “Rodman: For Better or Worse.” “Which I understood because when we played Detroit, he and Scottie had some really heated battles. Scottie didn’t like him.”
Pippen’s issues with Rodman stemmed from a dirty foul in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.
Rodman explained to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic that the animosity was so severe that after the trade was completed, Bulls coach Phil Jackson forced him to apologize to Pippen. With this in mind, the Spurs hardly had room to negotiate. Chicago was taking a risk in the first place by bringing Rodman onto Pippen’s team. They weren’t going to pay San Antonio anymore than they had to for the privilege.
Especially considering how much they were going to have to pay Rodman to be their power forward. Financial concerns easily could have killed the trade before it happened.
3. Rodman’s contract situation complicated things
Rodman said in his documentary that by the time he was traded to the Bulls he was “nearly broke.” When he met with Bulls leadership, “All he wanted to talk about was how much he was going to get paid,” Phil Jackson explained in his book, “Eleven Rings.” At the time, Rodman was going through a divorce and living beyond his means despite what was a fairly healthy salary for the time period.
In 1995, Rodman was entering the final season of a long-term contract he signed as a member of the Pistons. That deal guaranteed him a salary of $2.5 million. As small as that might seem by modern standards, the cap for the 1995-96 season was only $23 million. In making around 11 percent of the salary cap, Rodman’s 1995-96 salary would be the equivalent of around $11.9 million today.
That posed a problem in making a trade work under the salary cap. How many contenders nowadays have $11.9 million in salary that they’re eager to trade for a risk as great as Rodman? Any player earning nearly as much as Rodman was too valuable to be traded for a player with as little value as Rodman. So not only did the Spurs need to find a team willing to take Rodman, but they had to find one that had enough bad salary to send back to them for a trade to be legally allowable. And that’s where the Bulls came in.
Chicago’s frontcourt was pillaged in 1994 free agency. Starting power forward Horace Grant left for Orlando. Starting center Bill Cartwright joined the Seattle SuperSonics. Key backup Scott Williams departed as well, so with almost no meaningful talent left up front, the Bulls moved to secure one of their few remaining big men. Perdue, whom they had selected No. 11 overall in 1988, was in line for a bigger role, so the Bulls rewarded him with a bigger contract. Chicago handed him a six-year deal worth in excess of $12 million. That contract was big enough to be dealt straight up for Rodman, and when Luc Longley emerged as Chicago’s starting center during the 1994-95 season, Perdue became expendable.
That it was expiring created another problem for potential trade partners. If Rodman lived up to his promise, he would require a hefty contract extension. At 35 years old and given his general instability, that would have been an even greater risk than the trade. A Rodman contract gone wrong could have ruined the finances of a normal team. Fortunately, Chicago was not a normal team.
The Bulls were so wildly profitable in the 1990s that they regularly spent far above the cap. Jordan alone received salaries in his final two Chicago seasons that were greater than the entire cap. At this point, there was no max contract, and teams could re-sign their own players without limits thanks to Bird Rights. Jordan’s deal ensured that Chicago had no aspirations of creating cap space moving forward, so they lost no flexibility paying Rodman. He received a one-year, $9 million contract for the 1996-97 season, and then a $4.6 million pact for the 1997-98 season. So with no major financial concerns in acquiring him, the Bulls went ahead and executed the deal.
Never in NBA history have the stars aligned so perfectly for a contending team to make a blockbuster trade. For the Bulls to get a player of Rodman’s caliber in exchange for a backup, they needed him to systematically destroy his trade value over the course of two years in an era in which players of his position were plentiful and few teams could afford to absorb his contract. It was a one-in-a-million fluke that allowed the Bulls to add a third Hall-of-Famer to their legendary Jordan-Pippen duo, and fortunately for the sake of competitive balance, it is one that is unlikely to ever repeat itself.
UFC 250 weigh-in results: Amanda Nunes, Felicia Spencer make weight for championship tilt – MMA Fighting
Saturday’s featherweight title fight is on.
UFC champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Felicia Spencer both successfully made championship weight at Friday’s official weigh-ins for UFC 250, which takes place Saturday at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
This will be Nunes’s first defense of her featherweight title. She is also the UFC’s bantamweight champion and has defended that belt five consecutive times.
See the full UFC 250 weigh-in results below:
Main card (ESPN+ pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Amanda Nunes (145) vs. Felicia Spencer (144.5)
Raphael Assuncao (136) vs. Cody Garbrandt (136)
Aljamain Sterling (136) vs. Cory Sandhagen (135.5)
Neil Magny (171) vs. Rocco Martin (170.5)
Sean O’Malley (136) vs. Eddie Wineland (136)
Preliminary Card (ESPN and ESPN +, 8 p.m. ET)
Chase Hooper (145.5) vs. Alex Caceres (146)
Gerald Meerschaert (185.5) vs. Ian Heinisch (185.5)
Cody Stamann (145.5) vs. Brian Kelleher (146)
Charles Byrd (184.5) vs. Maki Pitolo (185.5)
Early Preliminary Card (ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Jussier Formiga (126) vs. Alex Perez (126)
Alonzo Menifield (205) vs. Devin Clark (205.5)
Evan Dunham (149.5) vs. Herbert Burns (149.5)
Canadian Premier League moves forward on proposed strategy for a 2020 season – Canadian Premier League
Toronto, ON – (June 5, 2020) – Today, the Canadian Premier League together with its owners, clubs and player leadership unanimously agreed on the structure and concept of a proposed strategy on the possibility of a 2020 CPL season.
The CPL feels an obligation on behalf of our players, teams, supporters and partners, to get back on the pitch and that can’t happen without the players input and support. The health and safety of all is the single most important issue and it is vital that appropriate health and safety protocols mandated by the local and Provincial officials are in place and agreed to by all stakeholders – players, clubs, owners, league and Canada Soccer, the CPL’s governing body.
“Our position since we began the journey of building the League from the ground up has been to work together,” said David Clanachan, Canadian Premier League Commissioner. “We started this process behind the scenes many weeks ago in consultation with our owners on the many details and protocols required to safely return to the field of play, and potential opportunities that may emerge. This led to the next step of a collaborative discussion with the players this week.”
Clanachan continued, “It’s been gratifying and rewarding to see how much collective enthusiasm and co-operation there has been, and we have landed in an excellent and unanimous position with our clubs and club player leadership.”
“I and the rest of the squad are looking forward with excitement, energy and enthusiasm as we work towards a return to play. The CPL has gone to the extreme in ensuring player, staff, and club safety as we discuss a new format of play for the 2020 season,” said HFX Wanderers player Alex De Carolis. “We know this season has not turned out the way we expected but we are all excited for whatever format is presented. There will be no excuses or asterisk on this 2020 season, and we will be fully prepared for the opening kick-off. We want to compete for our fans and the city of Halifax as best we can!”
“As a player, I think the ultimate goal is to get back to playing as soon as possible but under the right conditions,” said Forge FC Captain, Kyle Bekker. “This unique situation has opened the door for us as players to have open and honest direct lines of communication with the league. We value being a part of this conversation and look forward to finding the best solution possible in getting back on the field.”
“Since the suspension of sanctioned soccer on 13 March, Canada Soccer has worked closely with all stakeholders including the Canadian Premier League and our Provincial and Territorial Member Associations to ensure the health and safety of all who participate in the game of soccer in Canada,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer’s General Secretary. “Through close collaboration with the Canadian Premier League and their clubs and the sharing of Canada Soccer’s Return to Soccer Guidelines, we are pleased that the league and its clubs have solidified their plan for Return to Soccer where the provincial and local governments have permitted a return to physical activities and look forward to a return to competition soccer through this initiative soon.”
The next step will be to engage with the fans and partners as the Canadian Premier League with its Clubs work collectively to find a solution for a 2020 CPL season.
Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley says Donald Trump doesn't have 'a moral bone in his body' – The Globe and Mail
Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley pulled no punches Thursday, lamenting the “zero leadership” south of the border as the U.S. is ravaged by racial unrest.
The long-time U.S. skipper took square aim at President Donald Trump.
“We have a President who is completely empty. There isn’t a moral bone in his body,” Bradley told a news conference call.
“There’s no leadership. There’s no leadership from the President, there’s no leadership from the Republican senators who have sat back and been totally complicit in everything he’s done for the last three and a half years.”
Bradley urged his fellow Americans to speak with their ballot in November, saying it was “impossible to overstate” the importance of the coming election.
“I just hope that people are able to go to the polls in November and think about more than just what is good for them, more than what is good for their own status, their own business, their own tax return. I hope that people can go to the polls and understand that in so many ways, the future of our country and the future of our democracy is at stake.
“We need as many people as possible to understand that at a real level, to think about what four more years with Trump as president, what that would mean, how terrible that would be for so many people.”
Referencing racial inequality and social injustice, Bradley added: “If we want any chance to start to fix those things, then Trump can’t be president, it’s as simple as that.”
The 32-year-old Bradley has run through the gamut of emotions while watching the violence and unrest unfold in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while three police officers restrained him — one with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“I’m angry, I’m horrified, I’m sad and I’m determined to do anything and everything I can to try to be a part of the fix,” he said. “Because it has to end. And we all have to be part of that fix.”
He acknowledged that while he has much to learn on the issues, politicians, policy-makers and businesses have to be held accountable.
Bradley has criticized Trump before. In January, 2017, he said he was “sad and embarrassed” by Trump’s travel ban aimed at citizens of predominantly Muslim countries.
The TFC captain, while happy to see the MLS labour impasse over, noted there had been “some real difficult moments along the way.” That included a threat of a lockout from the league.
Such tactics “did not sit well with the players,” he said.
He also said there had been a frustrating absence of dialogue right from the beginning of talks, which he acknowledged played out against an unprecedented global threat.
“This, at a certain point for me, was about what’s right and what’s wrong in the middle of the pandemic. And the way to treat people and the way that you look after people. I kept coming back to that idea. That we have all put so much into growing the game in North America, at all levels — ownership, league office, executives coaches, players, fans.
“Everybody is important to what we’re trying to do. To try to dismiss any of the entities that I just named would be short-sighted and disrespectful because the game is about everybody.”
He said he would have loved to have seen everyone get on the same page early on and find a way “to cut through the [bull].”
“To just say, ‘This is where we are right now. Nobody has a playbook. Nobody has any answers, but how are we going to come out better and stronger from all of this?’ … I think conversations would have carried so much more weight and I think we would have been able to avoid so much of the way certain things played out.”
Bradley underwent ankle surgery in January to repair an injury suffered in the MLS Cup final loss in Seattle on Nov 10. His rehab over, he was part of a small group training session Thursday.
“I’m doing well,” he said. “I’m continuing to make progress. … At this point, physically, I feel really good. My ankle feels really good. And now it’s just about training. Getting back into real training in a way that now prepares me for games.”
Still, he said injuries are an issue in the league’s return to play given the time that has passed since the league suspended play March 12.
“That is a big concern,” he said. “And it’s not a big concern only amongst players. I know that has been a real topic amongst coaches and sports science staff and medical staff.”
While teams will do everything possible to get the players ready, a compressed schedule at the Florida tournament that awaits teams won’t help injury fears, he said.
“That certainly is a big question. Maybe the biggest question when you get past the initial health and safety stuff of COVID, among players and coaches and technical staff,” he said.
“How are we going to give ourselves the best chance to win, but also do it in a way where guys are at their highest level both technically and physically.”
UFC 250 weigh-in results: Amanda Nunes, Felicia Spencer make weight for championship tilt – MMA Fighting
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