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Antione Johnson Vs. Dennis Rodman

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OK, so that's not exactly true. Antione Johnson's Kansas City Knights team played Rodman's Long Beach Jam team in the ABA championship game. Long Beach won. Here's the link.

Also the story if you can't get the link:


Knights fall in title game


ABA championship goes to Jam, giving Rodman a ring


By JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO Special to The Star



LONG BEACH, Calif. — After needing a three-point shot to reach the American Basketball Association's championship game, a three-point shot proved devastating to the Knights' hopes of winning the title Tuesday night.


Derrick Dial's off-balance three-point jumper proved critical in a final flurry that gave the Long Beach Jam the ABA championship with a 126-123 victory in front of 3,174 at Long Beach State's Pyramid.


Dial's shot proved to be the most dramatic element during a game in which the Knights recovered from an 11-point deficit in the second half — and narrowed their deficit to two points with 57.5 seconds to play.


“You might have to go to the NBA finals to get a better game than this,” said Knights coach Scott Wedman, who won two NBA championships with the Boston Celtics.


The Knights, who trailed 86-75 with 3:01 left in the third quarter, narrowed their deficit to 113-112 on Cortez Groves' three-pointer with 3:40 left in regulation.


But Dial and Juaquin Hawkins combined on a 7-0 spurt that extended the Jam's lead to 120-112 with 2:11 to play. Dial contributed a three-pointer and a fadeaway jumper from the right baseline, and Hawkins made a steal and layin to end the run.


Joe Crispin, who finished with 19 points, made a three-pointer with 1:35 left to close the deficit to 120-117, then had a chance to shrink the margin to one point on a driving layin with 57.5 seconds remaining.


But the basket was disallowed because teammate Doug Wrenn committed offensive goaltending.


Crispin made two free throws to bring the Knights to within 120-118. Then Dial struck.


Groves was defending the guard tightly as the shot clock was counting down.


Dial, who spent time with the Orlando Magic earlier in the season, threw up a shot with 1 second left on the shot clock.


The desperation shot went in with 32.3 seconds to play and extended the Jam's lead to 123-118.


“I just threw it up,” said Dial, who finished with a game-high 30 points. “It was a tough shot. I had to throw up over his his hand. But I felt that if it went in, the game was ours.”


Groves agreed.


“He had that lucky shot,” said Groves, a former Kansas State guard said. “That's the only thing that made the difference.”


Crispin and Hawkins each exchanged a pair of free throws before Antoine Johnson's three-pointer shrunk the Knights' deficit to 125-123 with 13.2 seconds left. After Long Beach's Geno Carlisle made the first of two foul shots with 11.2 seconds left, the Knights had a chance to tie.


But just after Crispin crossed midcourt, Carlisle stole the ball with 5.5 seconds to play.


The Knights entered the game with a nine-game winning streak but without their leading rebounder, Paul Shirley, who signed a 10-day contract with the Chicago Bulls last week.


Making the Knights' situation seem more daunting was the appearance of Dennis Rodman in the Jam's lineup.


Rodman, the tattooed rebounding specialist and erstwhile reality television contestant, made his first appearance in two months. He joined the Jam to try to resurrect his career and played twice in January before injuring his calf.


In 25 minutes, the two-time NBA defensive player of the year — sporting a beach-blond dye job and a goatee and looking older than his 42 years — grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds despite being outhustled often underneath the glass.


Neither team held control until the final seconds.

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