Dennis Rodman

Introduction

Dennis Rodman is one of the greats in basketball history. Well known for his controversial behaviour and outrageous hair colours, the man chiefly became a legend for his defensive skills and his unbeatable rebounding.

History

Early Life

Dennis Keith Rodman was born on May 13 1961 in Trenton, New Jersey. The basketball star grew up in Dallas, where he spent most of his high school days playing football. He briefly played on his high school basketball team but quit part way into his first season in frustration at the coach for not putting him into a particular game. Nevertheless, Rodman continued to play in his own time and, after growing to a height of 6’6”, he rejoined the school team where he played for a year. He then completed his education in the sport while playing for South-eastern Oklahoma State University, enjoying a three year NAIA career.

Detroit Pistons

In 1986, the Detroit Pistons selected a young Dennis Rodman in the second round of the NBA draft. By 1988 Rodman making his presence known on the professional circuit and, in 1990 he was named Defensive Player of the Year. He would go on to win this title again the following year. Furthermore, in both of the years that Rodman won the Defensive Player of the Year title, the Detroit Pistons won the NBA championships (the victory in 1990 was actually their first ever championship).

In 1992 Rodman won his first rebounding title and signalled his future as one of the great rebounders of all-time in March of the same year when he totalled 34 rebounds during one game (what would prove a career high for rebounds). In 1993, Rodman had his last season with the Detroit Pistons.

San Antonio Spurs

Rodman furthered his skills and his names when he joined the San Antonio Spurs and quickly won the rebounding title. On top of this personal accolade, he helped the team gain their best win-loss record of 62-20 which took them to the Western Conference finals. After only two years though, the San Antonio Spurs released Rodman from his contract with the team. His disciplinary problems on the court and his wild lifestyle away from the sport ultimately outweighed his undoubted talents.

The Chicago Bulls

Rodman was eventually traded to his most famous team, the Chicago Bulls, in time for the 1995/1996 season. Bulls legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had to approve the trade before it could go ahead and they were not about to turn down the chance to play alongside one of the best defensive players in the league. The Chicago Bulls number ten shirt had already been retired in honour of Bob Love and Rodman subsequently chose to play as number 91. Having spent his entire basketball career in the number 10, Rodman explained the reason behind 91 was that 9+1= 10.

Rodman’s impact was immediate as, in his first season, the Chicago Bulls achieved an NBA record by finishing with a score of 72-10 for the season. Rodman also led the league for rebounds, making this his fifth consecutive year at the top.

Alongside his remarkable rebounding and general defence, Rodman also became popular for his continued wild behaviour on the court. One of the most memorable incidents came during a game in March 1996 when he head butted referee Ted Bernhardt! Soon after, in January 1997, a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was witness to more violent behaviour, as Dennis Rodman tripped cameraman Eugene Amos and then kicked him in the groin. Rodman was forced to pay Amos a $200,000 settlement and he was suspended for 11 games.

After remarkable success, in the 1997-1998 season, Rodman left the Chicago Bulls. The remainder of his basketball career was to be played out in brief spells with other NBA teams. The first of these was the LA Lakers, where he stayed just a year before moving to the Dallas Mavericks. However, although Rodman’s rebounding was still hugely impressive, his behaviour remained questionable and both spells ended somewhat acrimoniously. Although his career is for all intents and purposes over, he has made appearances in lesser leagues, most notably for the Brighton Bears in the British Basketball League during the 2005/2006 season.

Post Basketball Career

Dennis Rodman has tried his hand at many careers off the court both during and after his time as a pro basketball player. His first notable attempt off the court was his time in professional wrestling. Rodman wrestled in a few matches with his friend Hulk Hogan in World Championship Wrestling, skipping basketball practice as a result. Rodman continued to make appearances in wrestling until July 2000.

At the same time as playing basketball and wrestling, Rodman tried his hand at acting, making his feature film debut in 1997 in "Double Team" alongside Jean Claude Van Damme. The film was widely criticised. Rodman’s other films have also failed to make any headway in the box office.

Since leaving basketball Dennis Rodman has taken part in a number of other ventures, including an appearance in the UK reality television show "Celebrity Big Brother".

Personal Life

Dennis Rodman is father to three children and has been married three times. Most famously, he was married to Carmen Electra for four months and she is the only one of his wives not to have had his children. Interestingly, Redman once dated pop singer Madonna and he claims that she actively tried to have a baby with him during their relationship.

Achievements

  • NBA Championship – Winner (1989 & 1990 (Detroit), 1996-98 (Chicago))
  • NBA All-Star Team – Member (1990, 1992)
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award – Winner (1990, 1991)
  • NBA Top Rebounds Per Game – Winner (1992-98)
  • NBA Top Rebound Rate – Winner (1991-98)
  • NBA Top Total Rebounds – Winner (1992-94, 1998)
  • NBA Top Offensive Rebounds – Winner (1991-94, 1996, 1997)
  • NBA Top Defensive Rebounds – Winner (1992, 1994, 1998)
  • NBA Top Field Goal Percentage – Winner (1989)
  • Razzie Award – Worst New Star (1998) for "Double Team"
  • Razzie Award – Worst Screen Couple (1998) with Jean Claude van Damme for "Double Team"
  • Razzie Award – Worst Supporting Actor (1998) for "Double Team"

Quotes

I go out there and get my eyes gouged, my nose busted, my body slammed. I love the pain of the game.

I want to do for rebounds what Michael Jordan did for dunks.

I’ll be the judge of my own manliness.

”I’m hungrier than those other guys out there. Every rebound is a personal challenge."