Union wants Rodman to file grievance


Bulls suspend Rodman two games


Decide for yourself if Dennis Rodman should've been suspended (Courtesy: SportsChannel)
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Rodman expresses remorse about his comments.
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NEW YORK -- The NBA players union, saying the Chicago Bulls violated the collective bargaining agreement, wants Dennis Rodman to file a grievance over a two-game suspension.

The Bulls suspended Rodman on Tuesday for two games without pay for his profanity-laden denouncement of NBA officiating Sunday following a loss at Toronto. The comments were broadcast live on cable television.

The collective bargaining agreement allows for a maximum player fine of $25,000. The National Basketball Players Association says Rodman's suspension will cost him $104,878.

"Never before have we seen discipline approaching this level of severity for comments made in a locker room after a game," National Basketball Players Association president Billy Hunter said Wednesday.

Rodman's contract stipulates that he must be available to play in 97 percent of the Bulls' regular-season games and 100 percent of the playoff games. If he doesn't, a portion of his salary becomes deferred into the next century.

Rodman also would collect several hundred thousand dollars worth of bonus money if he plays in 79 of Chicago's 82 games.

"We believe the Bulls were motivated by other economic concerns, as it will now be more difficult for Dennis to earn bonuses in his contract for playing in a certain amount of games," Hunter said.

Rodman must now play in all but one of the Bulls' remaining games in order to collect his entire $6 million salary this season. Another $3 million of his $9 million, one-year deal is already deferred.

Bulls general manager Jerry Krause denied that the Bulls were trying to punish Rodman financially. The Bulls are donating the $104,878 to charity.

"That (Krause was trying to punish Rodman financially) never even entered my mind. We don't screw people. I never even thought of that until somebody brought it up afterward," Krause said. "I think the union urges every player to grieve everything. This is a suspension, not a fine, and we felt what we did was OK within the rules. If they want to grieve it, they will."

Rodman's agent said he hadn't yet decided what to do. "Dennis is weighing his options," agent Dwight Manley said.

Rodman missed a Wednesday home game against Minnesota and is scheduled to miss Friday's game at New Jersey.

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