There are plenty of reasons for the trepidation about Rodman. He has undergone psychological counseling in the past, but league sources say his commitment to that has waned. There are also questions about his body. Rodman is useless to anyone unless he's in shape, and by all accounts his partying has left little time for basketball. Others are nervous about his split with agent Dwight Manley, who helped create this entertainment monster but constantly reminded Rodman that it was an act. Sources say Manley and Rodman argued over, among other things, Rodman's lavish spending, such as a recent six-day gambling binge in Las Vegas during which he blew more than $300,000. Manley's only comment: "It's a healthy thing for me to move on." SI's efforts to reach Rodman were unsuccessful.
"You know what I wish?" Daly says. "That Dennis would let his hair go back to its natural color, and he'd finish his career the way he started—as a great basketball player."
That'll never happen. Rodman may act crazy, but he's not stupid; he knows that rebounds alone don't get you into the movies.
The Fine Line
Joe Smith, Timberwolves
Feb. 5 versus Denver: 26 minutes, 10-11 field goals, 3-3 free throws, 23 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover. In his Minnesota debut, a 110-92 win over the Nuggets, Smith made his new team forget about Tom Gugliotta—for one night, anyway.