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Rodman's back in league after signing with Mavs

Dennis Rodman signed with the Mavericks on Thursday and immediately made a sacrifice for his new team.

He's not going to the Pro Bowl.

Instead of partying in Hawaii, Rodman will be sweating his way back into playing shape after nearly a year's absence from the league. He'll make his debut at home Wednesday against Seattle.

Incoming owner Mark Cuban said he's not sure whether Rodman, 38, will travel with the team for road games Saturday against the Clippers and Sunday against the Grizzlies.

The forward has been out of the league since the Lakers got tired of his act and cut him after 23 games in April. He was holding out hope that first-year Lakers coach Phil Jackson might give him another chance. But after no one was interested, Rodman let Cuban start wooing him.

Rodman passed a physical and signed a contract, then went for his second workout of the day. He was not at Reunion Arena for Dallas' game against Charlotte.

"I'm not going to try to stop Dennis from being Dennis," Cuban said.

Because the Mavericks are over the salary cap, they had to give Rodman a standard contract. He'll make $12,195 per game, which comes out to about $465,000 for the rest of the season.

Off the court, a March 7 court date has been set for rookie Leon Smith, who appeared in Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court on misdemeanor charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and violating a court protective order. Smith has pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from an incident in early December, when Smith brandished a gun at his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend during a visit to Chicago.

Clippers fire coach

Chris Ford was fired as coach after humiliating losses to Golden State and Phoenix by a combined 77 points. Ford was in the second of a three-year contract. Los Angeles is 11-34, including 16 losses in the past 18 games. Ford, 51, was replaced by assistant Jim Todd, whose first game as interim coach is Saturday night against Dallas.

CAVALIERS: Guard Trajan Langdon will miss the rest of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the team said. Dr. Steve Lombardo, an orthopedist who operated on Langdon's left knee while the rookie guard was at Duke, performed the surgery.

TIMBERWOLVES: Guard Terrell Brandon is out indefinitely with a left ankle injury. No timetable is set for his return.

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