Bulls' Rodman, Winter, Gilmore in Hall of Fame

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Bulls' Rodman, Winter, Gilmore in Hall of Fame

Monday, April 4, 2011
Posted: 1:14 p.m.

HOUSTON (AP)Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin and a trio of coaching legends are part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fames Class of 2011.

Coaches Tex Winter, innovator of the Triangle offense, Stanfords Tara VanDerveer and Philadelphia Universitys Herb Magee were part of the class announced Monday at the Final Four in Houston.

Its cool, man. Its a great feeling, Rodman said.

Longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore, former Portland TrailBlazers center Arvydas Sabonis and Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards also will be inducted. They are joined by Harlem Globetrotter Reece Goose Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom Satch Sanders.

READ: Season winds down, Bulls playoff picture heats up

The class will be formally inducted in Springfield, Mass., in August.

When asked who helped him get to the Hall of Fame, Rodman had a simple answer: Me.

Rodman, known as much for his flair for fashion as his equally impressive defensive skills, did not disappoint Monday. The two-time NBA defensive player of the year wore sneakers, jeans, a black ballcap, tan vest with leopard and tan scarves, and his white shirt with gold sequined cuffs was unbuttoned and knotted at the waist, a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

For VanDerveer, Mondays announcement was bittersweet, coming just hours after her Stanford team lost 63-62 to Texas A&M in a national semifinal in Indianapolis.

This is kind of a tough morning to be a basketball coach for me waking up after our loss last night, she said on a conference call. This opportunity to be enshrined in Naismith is an incredible honor, and Im overwhelmed by it.

READ: Bulls praise Rodman's legacy

In December, VanDerveer became the sixth woman to get 800 coaching victories.

Its the ultimate compliment to a coach or basketball player. Im humbled and honored. You should be really excited about it, but I wish it hadnt come on this day. Im not feeling great about myself or how we played. You go back and think about all the things I could have done or should have done. The sun didnt come up this morning here.

Five-time NBA All-Star and St. Johns all-time leading scorer Mullin learned he had made the hall in an early morning phone call that woke him up.

I actually went back to sleep, but I slept with a big smile on my face, Mullin said.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Bulls pass out Christmas gifts to Chicago youth on Sunday

Bulls pass out Christmas gifts to Chicago youth on Sunday

It was hard to tell who was more excited Sunday afternoon: the Bulls players or the 400 kids who stopped by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry as the team passed out Christmas gifts for kids who reside in the Chicago family housing development.

Robin Lopez was carrying about Benny the Bull, much to the surprise and delight of many kids who were in attendance, while Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo took photos and passed out gifts to every child.

Rondo established roots in Chicago long before becoming a Bull, but has become entrenched in the months since signing with the franchise, being a part of the 17th annual holiday party.

“It’s definitely an honor. An honor to be a Bull,” Rondo said. “Since Day 1 when I got here I thought they were the best organization as far as giving back to the community, and it shows. They do it without hesitation.

“Very welcoming. The people have been great. The kids have been here since Day 1 supporting us as well. It’s very exciting.”

Bulls volunteers served lunch provided by Papa John’s, Coca-Cola and Edy’s Ice Cream, as the holiday party is one of the 30 events the Bulls are organizing as part of the team and NBA Cares’ “Season of Giving.”

“It’s no problem for any of us,” Lopez said. “Look at Raj, look at Jimmy, they’re having a blast out there. They’re having as good of a time as the kids out there.”

Being a California native, the newfound snowfall added to the atmosphere for Lopez.

“This really feels like Christmas,” Lopez said. “I can feel the spirit inside with the kids and the looks on their faces when they walk in and see the toys, they see Jimmy Butler and they’re so excited to be a part of it.”

Whether it was Barbie Dreamhouses, or Nerf basketball rims, the kids were ecstatic to see the Bulls and to pick out the toys being distributed by the Bulls’ stars.

“Very humbling. Over 400 kids. And every kid comes through all smiling and excited,” Rondo said. “Some of them don’t get toys all year and this time of year is about giving. I’m very humbled.”

Butler has been around Bulls Charities since being drafted in 2011, so although this is old hat, he hasn’t lost any of the spirit that comes with doing events like this year after year.

He posed with kids for photos and cracked jokes to the younger basketball fans.

“Feels good. I just like being here. It’s what this time of year is all about, seeing these kids smile,” Butler said. “I love kids, I love this city, I want everybody to be happy all the time. However I can make that happen, especially around Christmas and the holidays, I’ll do.”

Lopez is quiet to many who see him on the floor, but his eyes lit up around the kids and made Benny the Bull his personal prop by picking him up and carrying him through the museum.

“Every time I see it, it’s a wonderful feeling. To think I’m a small part of it, I can’t begin to describe it,” Lopez said. “Any opportunity I get to work with kids, that’s always easy yes in my book. I’m a big kid at heart. Any time I can go play, I’m in.

“It’s indescribable. I got so many great gifts as a kid, and blessed in so many ways. Just to be able to give back in any facet, that’s an easy yes.”

Sunday's event leads up to Monday's Chicago Bulls Charities Night at the United Center. The Bulls host the Portland Trailblazers at 7 p.m. on CSN.

Tune in tonight for Chicago Bulls Charities Night

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Tune in tonight for Chicago Bulls Charities Night

The Bulls are looking to bounce back Monday night against the Blazers, with coverage on CSN beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live.

And once the game gets underway, make sure you're tuned in as we and other affiliates participate in Chicago Bulls Charities Night.

Throughout the game we'll be highlighting the work that the Bulls organization has done in the Chicago community this past year, including taking part in more than 200 programs that the team says has impacted more than 87,000 Chicagoans.

You too can make an impact by checking out the Bulls Charities silent auction, going on until Dec. 6.

You can also make a donation of any size to Bulls Charities to be entered into a raffle to win a basketball autographed by this year's Bulls team.

Also, Bulls Charities will be hosting a ping-pong tournament next month to raise money. Winners of the tournament will get a chance to play against the Bulls! Learn more about the event, which will take place at Spin, here.

Learn more about Bulls Charities and the work the team does in the community here.