Dennis Rodman might be known all over America for a variety of reasons, but whatever they are let’s not forget that he wasn’t a bad basketball player at one time either. Rodman was on hand in Detroit on April 1 as the Pistons hung a banner on the rafters that read ‘Dennis Rodman 10’ on it. And no, retiring Rodman’s jersey wasn’t an April fool’s prank.
It was definitely for real and it had Rodman all choked up as he spoke about how much the ceremony meant to him. He said it was actually easier guarding Michael Jordan than talking about his special night in Detroit and being honored and recognized by the Pistons.
Rodman said he was relieved it was over because it was such an emotional day for him. However, he should expect another emotional roller coaster ride again soon as he’s also going to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was told about this news on March 31 and was asked to show up in Houston for the NCAA Final on April 4.
Rodman said he broke down during the ceremony in Detroit when speaking to the fans and his former teammates at The Palace. He said his teammates were just like big brothers to him as the tears fell down his cheeks at a pre-game press conference. Rodman added that he was surprised the club decided to retire his number, but definitely appreciated the recognition.
It didn’t shock any of his teammates though that he was honored in the same way that former Pistons Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Vinnie Johnson, Bill Laimbeer, Dave Bing and Bob Lanier were. Dumars, now the club’s president of basketball operations, said Rodman thoroughly deserved it for the contributions he made to the team.
Rodman of Trenton, N.J. was chosen in the second round out of Southeastern Oklahoma by Detroit during the 1986 draft. He helped Detroit win the NBA championship in 1989 and again in 1990. He also played on three championship teams with the Chicago Bulls and played for Dallas, San Antonio, and the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring.
Rodman wasn’t a high scorer. In fact, he was far from it with a per-game point average of just 7.3. However, he was considered to be one of the NBA’s greatest players due to his defensive abilities.
He was great at guarding point guards and centers and could haul in rebounds at either end of the court. He was named the league’s defensive player of the year twice and made two All Star teams. He also set a league record by leading the NBA seven consecutive seasons in rebounds.
Of course, he was also well known off of the court for his outrageous style of dress and his tattoos. He also had a relationship with Madonna and had several brushes with the law before appearing on the Celebrity Rehab television program. When talking about his former lifestyle, Rodman said he’s surprised he’s going to make it to 50 years of age this year.