When Dennis Rodman entered Springfield’s Symphony Hall for his induction ceremony, the embattled commissioner of the NBA David Stern could not help but laugh. With a career that was filled with one sideshow act after another, Dennis Rodman’s entrance was a nice encapsulation of his career – flash with a side of passion. For all of the issues that marked the downfall of his career, and the continued spiraling of his life, Rodman’s initial reaction was to well up in tears when looking at his fellow teammates, friends and admirers looking up at him. It is this passion that we’ve grown to respect out of Rodman, however the same cannot be said for the rest of today’s athletes.
Rodman’s career was exactly what the NBA wanted, a mix of passion and entertainment that fed into the league’s image in the early ’90s. He symbolized the antagonist to a play led by Jordan, Barkley and others, something that David Stern enjoyed to rally his strict policing of the league around. What has been most intriguing about the last few months in Rodman’s life, has been the amount of support that the public truly did not know about. Who would have thought that Isiah Thomas was still on talking terms with Rodman? Who would have thought that people like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson and David Robinson were all friendly and on talking terms with Rodman?
Lost in Rodman’s flamboyant outfit from the induction ceremony, was a small lapel pin that carried a lot of meaning for both Dennis and for Pistons fans. “CD” is not lost in the minds of former Pistons players. and Chuck Daly was looking down on both the recent jersey retirement and the Hall of Fame ceremony in Springfield. Daly was as much of a father-figure to Rodman, as any individual in Dennis’ life, and his absence over the past year clearly left a void for Detroit’s number 10.
Watching this past year of Dennis Rodman’s life has also left many to question what the end game looks like. Dennis seems very content with the fast life he’s living, and those close to him are hoping that he’ll avoid the impending crash that seems both likely and inevitable. For the rest of us that have watched his career from a distance, we look forward to seeing every highlight along the way.