Detroit Pistons icon Dennis Rodman’s father passes away at 79

There is some unfortunate news to pass along from the world of basketball, and it has a local angle for fans in the Motor City.

Philander Rodman, the father of Detroit Pistons icon Dennis Rodman, passed away earlier this week at the age of 79.

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Rodman was estranged from his father, who left his mother 56 years ago. Prior to their meeting in the Philippines, they hadn't seen each other in 42 years.

“It was great,” Philander told The Associated Press after he met Dennis back in 2012.

“I've been trying to meet him for years. And then last night, boom, I met him. I was really, really happy and very surprised.”

Via the AP:

Philander Rodman Jr., who has acknowledged fathering 29 children by 16 mothers, says he was happy and surprised that his son agreed to meet him late Wednesday. He tried to meet the basketball Hall of Famer during another game in Manila in 2006.
Philander, who has been living in the Philippines for nearly 50 years, said Thursday he wanted to explain to his son that he didn't abandon his family in the United States, but they only had time for greetings and handshakes.

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An excerpt from Rodman's 1996 memoir “Bad As I Want To Be” described the relationship he had with his father, admitting to not knowing him:

“I never really knew my father, Philander Rodman. He was in the Air Force in New Jersey, where I was born, and when I was three we packed up and came back to Dallas where my mother is from. We did this when my father stopped coming home.

My father isn't part of my life. I haven't seen him in more than thirty years, so what is there to miss? I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn't mean I have a father; I don't. I could say, ‘This is my father. This is my dad,' but that doesn't sound right to me. I grew up with my mother and two younger sisters, Debra and Kim. There wasn't a male role model in my life until I got to college and started getting my [act] together.”

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Known throughout his playing career for his tenacious defense, Rodman helped the Detroit Pistons to back to back championships in 1989 and 1990. He won an additional three titles with the Chicago Bulls.

– – Quotes via Riley Morgan of Yahoo Link – –

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