- Associated Press - Friday, February 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dennis Rodman, Jamaal Wilkes and Tex Winter were among 12 finalists announced Friday for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Rodman was the flamboyant rebounder who won five NBA titles with Chicago and Detroit; Wilkes won four NBA titles with Golden State and the Lakers after starring at UCLA; and Winter was the architect of the triangle and triple-post offense.

“I am truly humbled, privileged and honored,” said Wilkes, who attended the announcement in Los Angeles, site of this weekend’s All-Star game.

Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince, called him in Florida with the news.

“He’s really more excited for his children and to secure a legacy for them. They’re at an age where they’re starting to know who their dad was,” Prince said. “He’s taken aback a little bit because he’s not used to being isolated as an individual for what he’s done. He was the most unselfish teammate.”

Hall of Fame member David Robinson experienced Rodman first-hand when he played against him as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.

“He was annoying,” Robinson said. “He just would be in your shorts all the time, always there with you. He was a very, very strong guy _ a little bit undersized at times, but he never let it stop him. He had relentless energy, and he had no fear.”

Kobe Bryant weighed in on Winter’s candidacy, having spent time with him when Winter was a Lakers special assistant coach.

“I don’t know how he’s not in the Hall of Fame. That’s just disgraceful,” Bryant said. “He should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago.”

The other finalists are former NBA stars Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin and Ralph Sampson, five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer, former NBA coach Dick Motta, Philadelphia University coach Herb Magee, college referee Hank Nichols, and Al Attles, the current vice president and assistant general manager of the Golden State Warriors.

To be inducted, finalists must receive at least 18 votes from a 24-member committee.

Those elected will be introduced April 3 at the men’s Final Four in Houston. The induction ceremony is at the hall in Springfield, Mass., from Aug. 11-13.

Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Hall of Fame’s board, said four others will be elected directly into the hall representing four categories: African-American pioneers before the mid-50s, veterans, the defunct American Basketball League, and international.

Their names will be announced in Houston.

“There’s more opportunity for others to get in,” Colangelo said. “If we continue with this process for the next four, five years, you’re going to see another 16 to 20 people in the Hall of Fame that might not have been in, and I think that’s great.”

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