Rodman Jersey to Join Fellow Bad Boys

It was not long ago that Dennis Rodman was most noticeably absent among the Pistons’ all-time team during the 50th anniversary celebration at the Palace. With plenty of time passed from the time his downfall began once Coach Chuck Daly resigned, the time has arrived to mend all wounds. On Friday night, Dennis Rodman’s number 10 will find its way to the rafters to join his Bad Boys teammates.

For NBA fans, the Dennis Rodman we all remember is not the hard working Piston who gave 110% into every minute he was on the floor. The lasting image is of the violent player with colored hair and covered in tattoos, kicking a cameraman and throwing a tantrum at referees. While he was a winner in every sense of the word, the image Rodman portrayed off the court tended to outweigh the image on the court.

In professional basketball in the 1990’s, Dennis Rodman and the league created a unique harmony of edge and entertainment. Fans wanted to watch the Bulls and Spurs because basketball became a sideshow to the unpredictable Rodman act. The fact that his teams were also extremely successful was not a mistake. His effort to rebound everything did not go unnoticed and often frustrated some of the league’s top players to act out against him.

Having personally interacted with him at various moments during his career (and especially in the past few years), I’ve seen Dennis Keith Rodman begun to realize what he threw away in the final years of his NBA career. While I’ve seen him pose as a bartender at 6 a.m. in South Florida and sign autographs at 2 p.m. in Las Vegas, the Rodman I’ve seen is stuck between the party and business versions. Even though he gets the most notice for the moments that don’t go his way, it is the little charitable moments that define who Rodman really is.

I believe that this jersey retirement means everything to him, especially coming on the heels of Coach Daly’s passing. Rodman is not fully welcomed to the franchises he joined after the Pistons, and Detroit’s embrace may be that final push he needs to get back on a solid path. As a fan of the Bad Boys, and for an individual to get his life turned around, I cannot wait to see Dennis come back home and see his jersey join his teammates in the Palace rafters.