Originally published in SLAM 20

The 6th Man: Yeah, the Bulls won again. Ho-hum. Their fifth championship in seven years. Yawn. It just goes to show you that the team with two of the five best players in the game will beat a team with two of the top 15. (Especially if the league MVP on the latter is playing worse than his team’s backup center.) As usual, Michael Jordan displayed his superhuman powers, playing through some food poisoning type of thing and-as usual-carrying his team in the final minutes of every game. It’s not that I’m not happy for the Bulls, it’s just that…enough already. At least underrated Steve Kerr pulled a Paxson in the final game. Read Scoop’s story starting on page 44. He’ll tell you all about it.

Since I’m still being deluged with letters from angry Rodman fans, let me be one of the first to say, “So long,” to the cultural cipher. At a time when racial intolerance is making an unwelcome comeback in this country, the biggest moron in league history (and that’s saying a lot) has to add his two cents by disrespecting the Mormon religion. Repeatedly.

Look, I don’t know too much about the Mormon faith (although I apparently know more than that other moron, Phil Jackson, who referred to Mormonism as a “cult”). I just know that it’s no different than any other religion in that its followers have been persecuted throughout history. As a Black man in America-especially as a Black man in America-you would think Rodman would be particularly sensitive to such bigotry and would try to set an example for the millions of kids who worship him.

Apparently, I expect way too much from this coward.

The fact that he averaged 7.7 Barkleys and 2.3 points per game in the Finals and was outplayed by Jazz owner Larry Miller in three of the six games, was icing on the cake for me. Way to play yourself into a league somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Dennis.

That’s it. Hope you enjoy the issue. Have a good summer, folks.


Tony Gervino

P.S. I decided against ranting about the Knicks getting jobbed, ’cause no one wants to hear me whining anyway. At least that’s what Russ told me.

Issue 20 Pippen