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“The choice I had to make was this: did I want to be like almost everyone else in the NBA and be used and treated like a product for other people’s profit and enjoyment or did I want to be my own person, to be true to myself and let the person inside me be free to do what I wanted to do, no matter what anybody else said or thought”.

Already a two times NBA champion and defensive player of the year with the Detroit Pistons, in 1993 Dennis Rodman was found in the parking lot of the Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit) with a gun on his lap. He went on his truck, put the Pearl Jam on, and only God knows what he tried to do. He fell asleep and was awakened by the police called by one of the Pistons janitors.

He would later explain that he looked inside himself and realised that the man he was inside was his true self, and he felt that the man outside was an impostor; instead of killing himself, the man inside killed the impostor man outside.

After this pivotal moment and during the following NBA seasons, he would start showing himself as the man he dared to be, the flamboyant player the entire world had the chance to know, a matchless character never seen before on a basketball court.

Already known as “the worm”, with his unique style of playing and persona, he turned the image of the NBA upside-down while still being a dominant and vibrant figure on the court, a tremendous athlete capable of winning three more championships in a row with the most iconic team of the ’90s, the Chicago Bulls led by the dynamic duo Pippen-Jordan.

He also managed to steal the show, when not busy revolutionising the NBA jumping from a rebound to another, it was outside of the court that Dennis gave

his best: throughout the entire ’90s decade he would become known for an entire repertoire of eccentric behaviours – one for all: presenting his biography on

the 5th avenue in NY dressed like a bride in attempt to marry himself - and for his radical and unique style, something that made him recognisable all around the world.

Everything gravitating around him generated instantaneous hype and high expectation, and so has been until recent years when, somehow, he has been able to get in touch with the unreachable leader of the North Korea Kim Jong-un and be his guest, somehow performing a 21st century version of the ping-pong diplomacy.

But no surprises with Dennis because, like he said, “I would come in right after God, Jesus, Muhammad Alì and Barack Obama”.

Who, in his right mind, would dare to deny it?

Written by

Fabio Amati

Photos by

Sourced from the Web


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