Dennis Rodman, April 6, 2012

5.4.2012 | comments

Born Dennis Keith Rodman on May 13, 1961, in Trenton, NJ

The first NBA player in history to win five championships with two different teams: Detroit Pistons (1989, 1990), and Chicago Bulls (1996, 1997, 1998).


Detroit Pistons, professional basketball player, 1986-93; San Antonio Spurs, professional basketball player, 1993-95; writer, 1994-97; Chicago Bulls, professional basketball player, 1995-98; actor, 1996-; Los Angeles Lakers, professional basketball player, 1999; Dallas Mavericks, professional basketball player, 2000.

Life’s Work

Dennis Rodman is one of the greatest rebounders ever to play professional basketball. His rebounding exploits have drawn comparisons with such legends as Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, and Bill Russell, all of whom were taller and heavier. Sports Illustrated once called Rodman “a sort of basketball genius.” A dedicated analyst of the game and a tenacious defender, Rodman led the National Basketball Association (NBA) in rebounding for four consecutive years and helped lead his teams to five NBA championships. As his career went on, however, Rodman drew ever more attention for his off-court antics. With his rainbow-colored hair and multiple tattoos, his penchant for conducting interviews in gay bars, and tumultuous romances with the singer Madonna and the actress Carmen Electra, Rodman landed headlines far outside the sports pages.

Rodman revels in the outsider image. The hair, the tattoos, the numerous body piercing’s, and the episodes of cross-dressing are all the product of a man who is as much entertainer as athlete. “I tried something bold,” Rodman explained in Playboy. “I created something that everyone has been afraid of … the Dennis Rodman I was born to be.” However flamboyant his behavior might be, Rodman offers no apologies. He feels that he is fulfilling his mission in the NBA as well–or better–than anyone. “I don’t like people to get inside Dennis Rodman,” he admitted in the Atlanta Journal. “But once I get on the court, I’m just taking the 22,000 fans that are in the stands and putting them inside me. I like to see people excited and happy, and when they leave the arena they say, ‘God, that was a great game.'”