Basketball: Rodman becomes a Bear at close of the BBL's hardest week
Saturday 28 January 2006
The row between the BBL leaders Scottish Rocks and the Newcastle Eagles over the Tynesiders' re-signing of Charles Smith has also reached a new level of acrimony.
The 6ft 7in Rodman, winner of five NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons, will play against the Guildford Heat at The Triangle, Burgess Hill, tonight. Ticket prices have been increased from £10 to between £15 and £35.
The Bears coach, Nick Nurse, said: "This will be seen as a publicity stunt and yes, we want to attract people who might not ordinarily be basketball fans." That will be at the expense of one of Nurse's Americans, who are unlikely to earn in an entire season what Rodman is getting for one night.
The Bullets owner, Craig Bown, has cancelled tonight's game as a protest over three- and two-game bans for two of his players, Yorick Williams and Skouson Harker, in a week in which two others, Matt Kemper and Dino Tanner, left the club.
The Rocks, stung by Smith rejoining the Eagles after walking out on them early in the season, made a scathing attack on the arbitration process which enabled the American to switch clubs. In a statement, the club said: "The precedent has been set for any player to walk out on a team, break a contract and suffer no penalty whatsoever. This paves the way towards anarchy in British basketball."
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