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Friday, June 5, 2020

Dennis Rodman: an unforgettable myth in Detroit

Years and even decades may go by, but some sportsmen and women will remain forever in the historical memory of a team or a city even when you might be distracted (of course, only temporarily) by that online offer from draftkings. One of these athletes is undoubtedly Dennis Rodman, protagonist of some unforgettable moments with the Detroit Pistons.

A great basketball player but also a wrestler, rapper, actor and animal activist. Taking a trip inside his mind is like jumping from an airplane without a parachute, feeling in danger but alive like never before. In short, this is a personality (or more than one if you want) outside of any logic.

Rodman, who grew up in Dallas, Texas, didn’t seem to have a future as a basketball player. Things changed when he suddenly gained twenty-three centimeters in two years, after his graduation from high school, reaching a remarkable height of 1.98 meters. After a period at university, he played for Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where he showed his skills in defense and attack.

Rodman was spotted by the Detroit Pistons, who called him for the second round of the 1986 NBA draft. Rodman was a nobody, coming out of nowhere, but he made himself known in the first year when he scored 500 points and 332 rebounds.

Thanks to him, the Detroit Pistons wrote one of the most beautiful pages of history in this sport, going so far as to defeat the most dreaded opponents of all time: the L.A Lakers. The fourth season in 1988/89 was undoubtedly the most exciting for Dennis who, besides becoming champion with the Pistons for the second time in a row, obtained the title of Defensive Player of the Year. In addition to that: 5 NBA titles, best rebounder (11,594 in total); two appearances at the All-Stars Game in 1990 and 1992; and finally, being included in the All-NBA Team in 1991/92 and 1994/95.

“The fifth most identifiable person in the world after God, Jesus, Muhammad Ali and Barack Obama.”  And then: “I consider myself as one of the three greatest attractions of the NBA. If there’s no Shaquille O’Neal and if there’s no Michael Jordan, there’s Dennis Rodman.” You know who said that about Dennis Rodman? Very simple: of course, it was Dennis Rodman himself!

Outside the basketball court, “The Worm” (this is his nickname since childhood because of how he moved when playing pinball) is renowned for several reasons. Over the years, we remember his love story with Madonna, his visit to Kim Jong-un in North Korea when no contact with US diplomacy had yet been established. And also an unforgettable experience in the WCW, World Championship Wrestling, when the federation dominated the world in the 90s. Rodman joined the New World Order stable led by Hollywood Hulk Hogan and formed by Eric Bischoff, who was also born in Detroit.

At the age of 60 (Rodman was born on May 13, 1961 in Trenton), obviously for Dennis there is no way to be noticed on the wooden floor but we are sure that we’ll talk again about the bad boy for some other reason in the near future.



Jeff Bilbrey
Founder of Detroit Sports Nation - Jeff Bilbrey manages the day to day operations of Detroit Sports Nation as well as all content delivery systems, ad networks and social platforms. Email him at [email protected]

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