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The story of Dennis Rodman, an NBA “bad boy”

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Dennis Rodman
The story of Dennis Rodman, an NBA "bad boy". Photo/ CinemaBlend.
  • Dennis Rodman is an NBA legend who achieved great success during his playing days
  • Nicknamed The Worm, Dennis Rodman was a force to reckon with on the court
  • He was notorious for controversial antics, from head-butting a referee and hitting a photographer to fighting with teammates and coaches. 

Anytime there is a conversation regarding an NBA bad boy, the name Dennis Rodman always pops up. From head-butting a referee and hitting a photographer to fighting with teammates and coaches, the Detroit Pistons legend was notorious for numerous controversial antics.

Nicknamed The Worm, Dennis Rodman was a force to reckon with on the court. Despite his aggressive and hard partying “bad boy” life, Rodman never placed his raw talent in doubt. And this can be proven by his biography on the official NBA website, which states that he is arguably the best rebounding forward in the history of the NBA.

Dennis Rodman is an NBA legend who achieved great success during his playing days. He won five NBA Championships and is a two-time NBA All-Star, seven-time NBA rebounding champion, seven-time NBA All-Defensive First Team and two-time All-NBA Third Team.

Rodman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, and his No. 10 jersey is retired by the Detroit Pistons. In October 2021, he was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman spent the most of his basketball career playing in the NBA. Photo/ CharityStars.

Since announcing his retirement from the NBA, Rodman’s name has popped up a few times in the news, including the story of his unlikely friendship with North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jung-un.

Speaking of his bad-boy identity, Dennis Rodman previously said:

“Dyeing my hair, dressing in drag…it all just came naturally to me. I was probably the only player in the history of sports to build an image by himself. It was all raw and natural, no Nike, no Adidas, no Converse.” According to Sportskeeda.

Troubled Childhood 

Dennis Keith Rodman was born on May 13, 1961, in Trenton, New Jersey, U.S. He is the son of Shirley and Philander Rodman, Jr., an enlisted Air Force.

Rodman’s father left his family when the future basketball star was just three years old. After Philander left, Rodman’s mother did a lot of odd jobs to support the family. According to Insider, Philander is said to have fathered 28 children.

Shirley was hardly home and didn’t show the affection her kids needed. This was hard for Rodman, and it showed up later in his life.

“I don’t remember when my mother ever hugged him or anything; I don’t remember that. I don’t remember if she embraced us and held us. I can’t even think of one (time).” Dennis Rodman previously said about his mother in an interview, as per Fadeaway World.

Rodman attended South Oak Cliff High School, where he was a gym student of Gary Blair. His two sisters, Debra and Kim, were more talented than him, and that made him a laughingstock whenever he was seen with them.

After high school, Rodman wasn’t recruited by any college. On the other hand, his sisters were recruited. Debra played at Louisiana Tech and would later play professionally for the Dallas Diamonds, among other teams. Kim played at Stephen F. Austin in Texas.

Rodman’s mother kicked him out after high school because he didn’t have a job. He would sleep in the yard at his friend’s house and borrow clothes to wear since he had none.

Journey To The NBA 

Dennis Rodman’s path to the NBA was not easy. He first worked as an overnight janitor at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport before enrolling at County Junior College. But after just one semester, Rodman dropped out of college due to poor results.

His height increased from 5’9″ to 6’7″, and he continued playing basketball. He played in a summer basketball camp, where he met 13-year-old Bryne Rich. Bryne was at the camp because he was trying to get over a horrific tragedy, having accidentally shot and killed his friend.

Bryne and Rodman became friends, and the future basketball star was given the emotional support and encouragement he needed by Bryne’s family.

Rodman had faced many trials and tribulations in his young life, and this didn’t stop him from achieving his dreams of playing in the NBA. In the 1986 NBA Draft, he was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the second round with the 27th overall pick.

After about seven years with the Detroit Pistons, Rodman would later play for the San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. He also played for other teams outside the United States, such as Fuerza Regia and Brighton Bears.

Dennis Rodman

NBA legend Dennis Rodman. Photo/ CinemaBlend.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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