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Rodman ends retirement

Last updated on: December 23, 2003 11:46 IST

Dennis Rodman, the retired basketball great known for his off-court antics just as much as his on-court skills, has returned to the game with the Long Beach Jam of the fringe American Basketball Association (ABA).

Rodman, who announced in July that he wanted to return to professional basketball at the age of 42, is bidding to get into shape for a National Basketball Association comeback, his agent said on Monday.

"Our ultimate goal is to be signed by an NBA team by the All-Star break in mid-February, if not sooner," Darren Prince said in a statement.

Rodman, who won five NBA championships in his career with the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls, left the league on a low note in March 2000 when he was released by the Dallas Mavericks after being with the team for less than a month.

During his tenure

with the Mavericks, he was suspended once, ejected twice and also fined by the league.

Rodman, who became a media icon in his playing days with his blue hair and rings through his ears, nose and bottom lip, will begin practising and playing with the Long Beach Jam next month.

He is best known for his aggressive rebounding and rarely takes a shot. He led the NBA in rebounding for seven consecutive years despite measuring only 6 feet 8 inches (207 cm). Many of the NBA's top rebounders are more than 7 feet (213 cm) tall.

The ABA, styled as a successor to the original ABA that featured colorful players and eventually merged with the NBA, has seven teams, including two in Mexico.

After playing two seasons from 2000-2002, the ABA took a year off before restructuring and starting again this year.

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