By Steve Ginsburg
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Dennis Rodman, known as much for his outrageous behavior as his extraordinary rebounding, defensive skills and five NBA championships, was voted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday.
Among those joining Rodman into the Springfield, Mass., hall are former NBA players Chris Mullin, Tom "Satch" Sanders Lithuanian Arvydas Sabonis, and Artis Gilmore, who played in both the NBA and the ABA.
Rodman, a two-time NBA defensive player of the year who led the league in rebounds per game for seven straight years, said he never believed he would make the hall because of his antics, which included wearing a wedding dress to promote his book.
Rodman, also played with San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas, was named to seven NBA all-defensive first teams and two All-Star games.
When asked how it felt to make the hall, Rodman, wearing a long-sleeve white shirt open to his navel, sunglasses and jeans, while donning a leopard-print scarf, said: "It's cool."
"People have been so gracious and very kind," added Rodman, a fixture on the L.A. club scene who was ejected a number of times from NBA games for a variety of infractions.
"They could have went the other direction and said, 'Dennis, some of the things you've done off the court is not conducive to the Hall of Fame.'"
Mullin was a five-time NBA All-Star who played with Golden State and Indiana, and scored more than 17,000 points during his 16-year career. He won two Olympic gold medals, including one as a member of the 1992 "Dream Team."
"The last few years when I was a finalist I felt elated," he said. "This just takes it to another level. My getting to the Hall of Fame is a total team effort by a lot of people."
Also making the hall were former NCAA women's coach of the Year Tara VanDerveer, four-times Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, all-time NCAA coaching wins leader Herb Magee, NBA and collegiate coach Tex Winter, and former Harlem Globetrotter Reece "Goose" Tatum, who died in 1967.
Enshrinement ceremonies will be held August 11-13.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)