Morals with Rodman, Lewis … where

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 8, 2000

If you heard that loud crash last week, I believe it was the moral-o-meter being dropped a couple of notches.

And it’s no wonder.

The Dallas Mavericks, obviously upset with the amount of attention the Dallas Cowboys have been getting with their brand of outlaws over the past few years, signed Dennis Rodman.

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But it’s not only the fact that the Mavericks signed Rodman, it’s the conditions that just go way beyond what sports is supposed to be all about.

New owner Mark Cuban signed Rodman for a contract worth $463,410 for the rest of the season.

Rodman, 38, is expected to make his Mavericks debut Wednesday in a home game against Seattle.

Rodman moved into an expansive guest house adjacent to Cuban’s Preston Hollow mansion last week. That deal is still being investigated by the NBA.

Rodman, of course, is renowned for a different sort of scheming – the off-court partying that prompted him to put off accepting Cuban’s contract offer until after the Super Bowl. Cuban, however, insists that he will not impose restrictions on Rodman.

Cuban’s tolerance has been well-documented. When face-to-face negotiations started Jan. 24, he invited Rodman to draw up a list of requests on how he wants to be reated by Nelson, then agreed to all of them.

Rodman will be allowed to ride a courtside exercise bicycle while his teammates practice.

He’ll also be cleared to skip most shootarounds, arrive for games almost a half-hour later than everyone else and ride a bike when he’s not in the game.

It doesn’t say who’s going to tuck him in at night.

Cuban’s only apparent demands are that Rodman address the Mavericks’ three biggest deficiencies — rebounding, defense and crunch-time know-how.

To quote a well-known phrase we like to use in the newsroom, &uot;What a way to run a railroad.&uot;

I guess teamwork is secondary now to winning.

Supposedly, only two members of the Mavericks voted against taking Rodman. Here’s hoping those two get traded soon. I think the rest just want to be on ESPN’s Sports Center.

As Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki said, &uot;Put a tent over Reunion Arena, baby. The circus is coming to town.&uot;

Then, of course, we had the episode with Ray Lewis, who goes into a nightclub after the Super Bowl instead of heading to the Pro Bowl.

A hockey game breaks out inside and depending on whose side of the story you believe, Lewis was either an innocent bystander or killed two people.

I guess we’ll have to wait for the TV&160;movie.

Lewis, a Baltimore Ravens star who grew up in Lakeland, Fla., is charged in the Jan. 31 stabbing deaths of Jacinth ”Shorty” Baker, 21, and Richard Lollar, 24.

Defense attorneys have said Lewis was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And then comes word that Vince McMahon is starting a new football league. Ya know, Vince and Jim McMahon have to be kin somewhere down the road.

Hey, that would made a great wrestling story wouldn’t it?

Anyway, McMahon is talking big about his new football league that will be everything the NFL is not.

The scary thing about is that McMahon probably has enough money to pull this off.

If we get another league and they start battling for players, you know who pays the price there -&160;not that the price is not high enough as it is.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at