Let's hear it for the people who waited for three hours outside of Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco on Tuesday for Dennis Rodman to show up for a book signing. (Who gives you coast-to-coast Rodman coverage? Deadspin, that's who). And what an occasion it was. The weather was cool and crisp, the milling throng of 11 fans orderly and reserved, the local police on high alert. The event was otherwise noticeable only for its complete lack of Rodman anywhere on the premises. He never showed up.
For those who don't know, Rodman plays for the Tijuana Dragons of the minor league American Basketball Association. The team was scheduled to play the San Francisco Pilots last night at 7 p.m., with Rodman slated to arrive at 4 p.m. to sign copies of his book, I Should Be Dead By Now. But when 5 p.m. came and went without any sign of him, and then 6, the few people who had showed up, autograph pens in hand, slowly dispersed into the fog.
"I kept calling his hotel," said beleaguered Pilots chief operating officer Chris Conley. "They said he was working out. They're saying now that he may sign books after the game. I don't know; clearly we are dealing with Rodman Rules."
Rodman did show up for the game — 10 minutes late (they held the start time for him). This reporter was there for the action, and let us just say, a little warm-up time is essential when one is 44 years old. Rodman had none; stretching out a bit, then running right into the game where he immediately: 1. Threw away an inbound pass under his own basket for an opposition layup; 2. Took his first shot — an airball; 3. Was consistently the last man back on defense; and 4. Grabbed some pine five minutes into the first quarter. Oh, by the way, he prefers the lime Gatorade.
Our favorite moment came during the break between the first and second quarters. Rodman grabbed a ball to take some practice shots, but when his first shot hit the front rim and rolled to the opposite side of the floor, he waved his hand in disgust and returned to the bench.
In all Rodman logged about 25 minutes, had seven assists, four rebounds and didn't score. The weirdest thing was, the crowd of about 350 or so didn't really seem to be there to see him (the Pilots drew more in their home opener two weeks before). Only a small contingent of press seemed to be jazzed about him being there. We left midway through the fourth quarter, with the Pilots ahead 113-71.
In case we didn't mention it, the Dragons really, really suck.
So that's your Dennis Rodman update for today, and we'd like to add that we were disappointed not to have seen his publicist, Darren Prince, anywhere. We wanted to impress him with our impeccable grooming.
(Update: It appears Rodman and his "agent" says nobody told them about the book signing. We present you that fact without comment.)
(Second Update: Rodman uber-manager Steve Simon writes us: "In all honestly, there never was a book signing scheduled. Rather, it was an ill-conceived attempt by the owner of the SF team to create more promotion and, in the long run, he didn
t have enough time or brains to order the books and unfortunately wound up making everyone look foolish." So you know.)