I never know where to begin when discussing Dennis Rodman because he has given writers across the globe a lifetime’s worth of material. Let’s start off with the basics. The jersey pictured above was a limited edition NBA Finals authentic jersey from Rodman’s days on the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls’ jersey is a classic one, ranking near the top among jersey connoisseurs across the world. The simple design speaks for itself, so I’ll move onto Rodman.
When analyzing Dennis, one must separate Dennis the man and the Dennis the basketball player, even if the two are inextricably related. His value as a baller is a great topic, and to learn more about that I direct you to a series of articles far better than anything I have ever written. This article, though, will mainly focus on Rodman’s life.
Not to go all Freud on the world, but Dennis’ unusual development definitely contributed his celebrity persona. Rodman was raised by his mother and two older sisters in the slums of Dallas. His mother favored his sisters because they were better at basketball (they both went on to play college hoops and one even won two NCAA titles). Rodman himself wasn’t as successful in his school sports–he was cut or benched from all of his HS basketball teams. Having given up on sports, he worked as an airport janitor.
Rodman experienced a growth spurt and gave hoops another try. Attempt #1: Cooke County College, a community college in Texas. Rodman played well at the obscure school, but flunked out after a single semester. Attempt #2: Southeastern Oklahoma State University, which is in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). The NAIA is to the NCAA as the NBDL is to the NBA, but even worse as there are already over 300+ Division I NCAA teams and many more Division II and III teams. Prior to learning about Rodman, I was actually unaware of the NAIA’s existence.
After being drafted by the Pistons in the 2nd round, Rodman started his NBA career. Basketball unrelated highlights and lowlights of his NBA career include (courtesy of Wikipedia):
-A rookie Rodman said this about Larry Bird: “Larry Bird is overrated…because he’s white.”
-In February of 1993, Rodman aborted a suicide attempt. It was after this episode that he reinvented himself as a celebrity badass. He left Detroit for the San Antonio Spurs after the season.
-In his inaugural season with the Spurs, all of the following happened according to Wikipedia: “He headbutted Stacey King and John Stockton, refused to leave the hardwood once after being ejected, and had a highly-publicized two month affair with Madonna.”
-In ’96, Rodman headbutted referee Ted Bernhardt during a game. He was suspended for six games and fined $20,000.
-Rodman kicked cameraman Eugene Amos in the groin after accidentally tripping over him in 1997.
-Three games into the 1997-98 NBA finals, Rodman left the Bulls prior to Game 4 to go wrestling with Hulk Hogan.
-He and Madonna tried to conceive a child, which failed for reasons unbeknownst to the public.
-Rodman wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography, and better yet, claimed that he was bisexual and that he was “marrying himself.”
Following the NBA, D-Rod made several comeback attempts, and while he failed to make it back into the NBA, he played in other pro leagues and made headlines in other ways:
-He went to Finland to compete in a wife-carrying contest. He removed himself from the competition due to health problems.
-He one-upped his wedding dress stunt and promoted his second auto-biography by lying in a coffin.
-He enjoyed a wrestling career that lasted from 1997-2004
-Among his various media appearances are his roles in Double Team with Jean-Claude Van Damme, in Simon Sez with Dane Cook, and in Cutaway with my favorite (Stephen) Baldwin.
-He had this to say about Pearl Jam, his favorite band: “If it wasn’t for Pearl Jam, my life would be a hell of a lot less fulfilling.”
-He had a short-lived marriage with supermodel and fellow vegetarian Carmen Electra.
-The man survived TWO motorcycle accidents.
-Along with Spud Webb (who appeared in AGR’s previous post), Rodman tried to coach a topless women’s basketball team.
Before the requisite highlight reel, I wanted to illustrate in pictorial form why he was known as “The Worm.”
And now, for the Dennis Rodman highlight-reel
What do you think about Rodman as a player? As a man? Comment on the article or email us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRBasketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook!