Free Press columnist Mitch Albom spoke with Dennis Rodman on Thursday morning before Rodman departed for Texas. Here are excerpts from that conversation.

Q — Is it true you don’t want to play for the Pistons anymore? A — It’s not like that. I don’t want to do anything against Ron Rothstein, but what he and Jack (McCloskey) did to Chuck Daly was wrong. Chuck did so much for this team, and they basically pushed him aside and said, “OK, we got a man to take your place.”

Q — But what if they won’t trade you and you have to stay here? A — That doesn’t mean I have to like it, does it?

Q — Are you saying you want to be traded?

A — I can’t say I want to be traded, but I just want to be with Chuck. I don’t know, I have to think about it for a while. You know, the Pistons let
(Rick) Mahorn go; they let Vinnie (Johnson) go, they let James (Edwards) go; it’s like all the chemistry that we had as a team is gone. I’m wondering who’s gonna be the next to go. Me? Joe Dumars? They made Chuck Daly a lame-duck coach, and that wasn’t fair.

Q — Was that lack of chemistry part of your unhappiness this season?

A — The chemistry wasn’t there, we didn’t have our old Pistons pride, it was really hard on me, going out there night after night and wondering why.

Q — Would you hold out from training camp?

A — I might. If I didn’t decide to come into camp, it’s my choice. I hope they’d understand. It’s just hard for me to go to the Palace when Chuck isn’t there anymore. . . . If I do hold out, I’ll take my time. If I come back, OK; if I don’t, I don’t. I don’t care about the money. They can dock my pay for as long as they want. I always said basketball is not my whole life.

Q — How about McCloskey’s departure? Do you feel that is a sort of justice?

A — I don’t know if it’s justice. He was fair to me in my contract dealings and everything. I think what he’s doing now is his own doing.

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