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Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961) is an Americanmarker retired professional basketball player of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Born in Trenton, New Jerseymarker, he was nicknamed "Dennis the Menace" and "The Worm" and was known for his fierce defensive and rebounding abilities. Playing small forward in his early years before becoming a power forward, Rodman earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times and was voted NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice. He also led the NBA in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and won five NBA championships (1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998).

Experiencing an unhappy childhood, Rodman was shy and introverted in his early years. After aborting a suicide attempt in 1993, he reinvented himself as the prototypical "bad boy" and became notorious for numerous controversial antics. He dyed his hair in artificial colors, presented himself with many piercing and tattoos and regularly disrupted games by clashing with opposing players and officials. He famously wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography. Rodman pursued a high-profile affair with singer Madonna and was briefly married to actress Carmen Electra.

Apart from basketball, Rodman is a part-time professional wrestler. He was a member of the nWo and fought alongside Hulk Hogan at two Bash at the Beach events. He had his own TV show, The Rodman World Tour, and had lead roles in the action films Simon Sez and Double Team alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. Both films were severely critically panned, with the latter earning Rodman a triple Razzie Award. He appeared in several reality TV series and was the winner of the $222,000 main prize of the 2005 edition of Celebrity Mole. Rodman also won the first ever Celebrity Championship Wrestling tournament.

Biography

Early life

Dennis Rodman was born in Trenton, New Jerseymarker as the son of Shirley and Philander Rodman Jr., an Air Force pilot and veteran of the Vietnam War. When he was three, his father deserted his family and went on to eventually father 27 children from four different women. Rodman grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texasmarker, considered one of the worst areas of Dallas in those times. While attending South Oak Cliff High Schoolmarker, he played under future Texas A&Mmarker coach Gary Blair. However, Rodman was not considered an athletic standout. According to himself, he was "unable to hit a layup" and was listed in the high school basketball teams, but was either benched or cut from the squads. Measuring only as a freshman in high school, he also failed to make the football teams and was "totally devastated". After finishing school, Rodman worked as an overnight janitor at Dallas Fort Worth International Airportmarker. He experienced a sudden growth spurt, and grew to and decided to give basketball another shot.

A family friend tipped off the head coach of Cooke County College in Gainesville, Texasmarker. In his single semester there, he averaged 17.6  points and 13.3 rebounds, before flunking out due to poor academic performances. After his short stint in Gainesville, he transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State University, an NAIA school. There, Rodman was a three-time NAIA All-American and led the NAIA in rebounding in both the 1984–85 and 1985–86 seasons. In three seasons there, 1983–84 through 1985–86, he averaged 25.7 points and 15.7 rebounds, led the NAIA in rebounding twice and registered a .637 field goal percentage. He averaged over 25 points per game for his three-year NAIA career. At the Portsmouth Invitational, a pre-draft camp for NBA hopefuls, he won Most Valuable Player honors and caught the attention of the Detroit Pistons.

Detroit Pistons

Rodman made himself eligible for the 1986 NBA Draft. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons as the 27th pick, joining a rugged team of coach Chuck Daly that was called "Bad Boys" for their hard-nosed approach to basketball. The squad featured Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars at the guard positions, Adrian Dantley and Sidney Green at forward, and center Bill Laimbeer. Bench players who played more than 15 minutes per game were sixth man Vinnie Johnson and the backup forwards Rick Mahorn and John Salley. Rodman fitted well into this ensemble, providing 6.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and some tough defense in 15.0 minutes of playing time per game. Winning 52 games, the Pistons comfortably entered the 1987 NBA Playoffs. They swept the Washington Bullets and soundly beat the Atlanta Hawks in five games, but bowed out in seven matches against their archrivals Boston Celtics in what was called one of the physically and mentally toughest series ever. He feuded with Celtics guard Dennis Johnson, taunting him in the closing seconds by waving his right hand over his head. When the Celtics took Game Seven, Johnson went back at Rodman in the last moments of the game and mimicked his taunting gesture. After the loss, Rodman made headlines by insinuating that Celtics star Larry Bird was overrated because he was white: "Larry Bird is overrated in a lot of areas. ...Why does he get so much publicity? Because he's white. You never hear about a black player being the greatest." Although teammate Thomas supported him, he endured harsh criticism, but avoided being called a racist because his own girlfriend Anicka "Annie" Bakes was white.

In the following 1987–88 season, Rodman steadily improved his stats, averaging 11.6 points and 8.7 rebounds and starting in 32 of 82 regular season games. The Pistons fought their way into the 1988 NBA Finals, and took a 3–2 lead, but lost in seven games against the Los Angeles Lakers. In Game Six, the Pistons were down by one point with eight seconds to go; Dumars missed a shot, and Rodman just fell short of an offensive rebound and a putback which could have won the title. In Game Seven, L.A. led by 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Rodman’s defense helped cut down the lead to six with 3:52 minutes to go and to two with one minute to go. But then, he fouled Magic Johnson, who hit a free throw, missed an ill-advised shot with 39 seconds to go, and the Pistons never recovered. In that year, his girlfriend Annie bore him a daughter named Alexis.

After just falling short of an NBA title, Rodman entered the 1988–89 season. Still coming off the bench, he averaged nine points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes, providing such effective defense that he was voted into the All-Defensive Team, the first of eight times. In that season, the Pistons finally vanquished their playoffs bane by sweeping the Boston Celtics, winning in six games versus the Chicago Bulls of scoring champion Michael Jordan and easily defeating the Lakers with 4–0 in the 1989 NBA Finals. Although he was hampered by back spasms, Rodman dominated the boards, grabbing 19 rebounds in Game 3 and providing tough interior defense.

In the 1989–90 season, Detroit lost perennial defensive forward Rick Mahorn due to the expansion draft of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was feared that the loss of Mahorn – average in talent, but high on hustle and widely considered a vital cog of the "Bad Boys" teams – would diminish the Pistons’ spirit, but Rodman seamlessly took over his role. He went on to win his first big individual accolade. Averaging nine points and 10 rebounds and starting in the last 43 regular season games, he established himself as the best defensive player in the game; during this period, the Pistons won 39 games, and Rodman was lauded by the NBA "for his defense and rebounding skills, which were unparalleled in the league". For his feats, he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award; he also connected on a .595 field goal percentage, which made him the most precise shooter of the league. In the 1990 NBA Playoffs, the Pistons beat the Bulls again, and in the 1990 NBA Finals, Detroit met the Portland Trail Blazers. Rodman suffered from an injured ankle and was often replaced by Mark Aguirre, but even without his defensive hustle, Detroit beat Portland in five games and claimed their second title.

After winning his second NBA championship ring, Rodman entered the 1990–91 season. In that year, he finally established himself as the starting small forward of the Pistons. He played such strong defense that the NBA stated he "could shut down any opposing player, from point guard to center". After coming off the bench for most of his earlier years, he finally started in 77 of the 82 regular season games, averaged 8.2 points and 12.5 rebounds and won his second Defensive Player of the Year Award. In the 1991 NBA Playoffs however, the Pistons were swept by the championship-winning Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. It was the 1991–92 season where Rodman made a remarkable leap in his rebounding, collecting an astounding 18.7 rebounds per game (1,530 in total), winning his first of seven consecutive rebounding crowns, along with scoring 9.8 points per game, and made his first All-NBA Team. His 1,530 rebounds (the most since Wilt Chamberlain's 1,572 in the 1971–72 season) have never been surpassed since then; the best mark not set by Rodman is credited to Kevin Willis, who grabbed 1,258 boards in 1992–93. In a March 1992 game, he totaled a career high 34 total rebounds. However, the aging Pistons were eliminated by the upcoming New York Knicks in the First Round of the 1992 NBA Playoffs.

Rodman experienced a tough loss when coach Chuck Daly resigned in May, who he had admired as a surrogate father; Rodman skipped the preseason camp and was fined $68,000. The following 1992–93 season was even more tumultuous. He finally married Annie Bakes in September 1992, the mother of his four year old daughter Alexis, but the marriage went sour quickly and Bakes divorced him in December. The Pistons won only 40 games and missed the 1993 NBA Playoffs entirely. One night in May 1993, Rodman was found asleep in his car with a loaded rifle. Four years later in his biography As Bad As I Wanna Be, he confessed having thought about suicide and described that night as an epiphany: "I decided that instead [of killing myself] I was gonna kill the impostor that was leading Dennis Rodman to a place he didn't want to go... So I just said, 'I'm going to live my life the way I want to live it and be happy doing it.' At that moment I tamed [sic] my whole life around. I killed the person I didn't want to be." Although he had three years and $11.8 million remaining on his contract, Rodman demanded a trade. On October 1, 1993, the Pistons dealt him to the San Antonio Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs

In the 1993–94 NBA season, Rodman joined a Spurs team which was built around perennial All-Star center David Robinson, with a supporting cast of forwards Dale Ellis, Willie Anderson and guard Vinnie Del Negro. On the hardwood, Rodman now was played as a power forward and won his third straight rebounding title, averaging 17.3 boards per game along with a career-low 4.7 points, but yet another All-Defensive Team call-up. Living up to his promise of killing the "shy imposter" and "being himself" instead, Rodman began to show first signs of bizarre behaviour: before the first game, he shaved his hair and dyed it blonde, which was followed up stints with red, purple, blue hair and a look inspired from the film Demolition Man. During the season, he headbutted Stacey King and John Stockton, refused to leave the hardwood once after being ejected, and had a highly-publicized two month affair with Madonna. The only player to whom Rodman related was reserve center Jack Haley, who won his trust by not being shocked after a visit to a gay bar. However, despite a 55-win season, Rodman and the Spurs did not survive the First Round of the 1994 NBA Playoffs and bowed out against the Utah Jazz in four games.

In the following 1994–95 NBA season, Rodman clashed with the Spurs front office. He was suspended for the first three games, took a leave of absence on November 11, and was suspended again on December 7. He finally returned on December 10 after missing 19 games. After joining the team, he suffered a shoulder separation in a motorcycle accident, limiting his season to 49 games. Normally, he would not have qualified for any season records for missing so many games, but by grabbing 823 rebounds, he just surpassed the 800-rebound limit for listing players and won his fourth straight rebounding title by averaging 16.8 boards per game and made the All-NBA Team. In the 1995 NBA Playoffs, the 62-win Spurs with reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Award winner Robinson entered the Western Conference Finals and were considered favorites against the reigning champions Houston Rockets who had only won 47 games. It was thought that Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon would have a hard time asserting himself versus Robinson and Rodman, who had both been voted into the NBA All-Defensive Teams. However, neither Robinson nor Rodman, who had disrupted a playoff game against the Lakers by sitting down on the court, could stop Olajuwon, who averaged 35.3 points against the elite defensive Spurs frontcourt, and helped eliminate the Spurs in six games.

Chicago Bulls



Prior to the 1995–96 NBA season, Rodman was traded to the Chicago Bulls of perennial scoring champion Michael Jordan for center Will Perdue and cash considerations to fill a large void at power forward left by Horace Grant, who left the Bulls prior to the 1994–95 season. Although the trade for the already 34 year old and volatile Rodman was considered a gamble at that time, the power forward quickly adapted to his new environment, helped by the fact that his best friend Haley was also traded to the Bulls. Under coach Phil Jackson, he scored an average of 5.5 points and 14.9 rebounds per game, winning yet another rebounding title, and was part of the great Bulls team that won 72 of 82 regular season games, an all-time NBA record. About playing next to iconic Jordan and hard-working Pippen, Rodman said: "On the court, me and Michael are pretty calm and we can handle conversation. But as far as our lives go, I think he is moving in one direction and I'm going in the other. I mean, he's goin' north, I'm goin' south. And then you've got Scottie Pippen right in the middle. He's sort of the equator." Although struggling with calf problems early in the season, Rodman grabbed 20 or more rebounds 11 times and had his first triple-double against the Minnesota Timberwolves in which he scored 10 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists; by playing his trademark tough defense, he joined Jordan and Scottie Pippen in the All-NBA Defense First Team, making it the first time that three players from the same NBA team made the All-NBA Defensive First Team. Ever controversial, Rodman made negative headlines after a head butt of referee Ted Bernhardt during a game in New Jerseymarker on March 16, 1996; he was fined $20,000, a punishment that was criticized as too lenient by the local press. In the 1996 NBA Playoffs, Rodman scored 7.5 points and grabbed 13.7 rebounds per game and had a large part in the six-game victory against the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals: in Game Two at home in the Bulls' United Centermarker, he grabbed 20 rebounds, among them a record-equalising 11 offensive boards, and in Game Six, again at United Center, the power forward secured 19 rebounds and again 11 offensive boards, scored five points in a decisive 12–2 Bulls run, unnerved opposing power forward Shawn Kemp and caused Seattle coach George Karl to say: "As you evaluate the series, Dennis Rodman won two basketball games. We controlled Dennis Rodman for four games. But Game 2 and tonight, he was the reason they were successful." His two games with 11 offensive rebounds each tied the NBA Finals record of Elvin Hayes.

In the 1996–97 NBA season, Rodman won his sixth rebounding title en bloc with 16.7 boards per game, along with 5.7 points per game, but failed to rank another All-Defensive Team call-up. However, he made more headlines for his notorious behaviour: on January 15, 1997, he was involved in another incident during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. After tripping over cameraman Eugene Amos, Rodman kicked Amos in the groin. Though he was not assessed a technical foul at the time, he ultimately paid Amos a $200,000 settlement, the league suspended Rodman for 11 games without pay, thus he effectively lost $1 million. Missing another three games to suspensions, often getting technical fouls early in games and missing an additional 13 matches due to knee problems, Rodman was not as effective in the 1997 NBA Playoffs, in which the Bulls reached the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. There, he struggled to slow down Jazz power forward Karl Malone, but did his share to complete the six-game Bulls victory.

It was during this time that Rodman seriously took up his hobby of professional wrestling: he appeared in World Championship Wrestling as a member of nWo with his friend Hulk Hogan. His first match was at the July 1997 Bash at the Beach event where he teamed with Hogan in a loss to Lex Luger and The Giant.

The regular season of the 1997–98 NBA season ended with Rodman winning his seventh consecutive rebounding title with 15.0 boards per game, along with 4.7 points per game. He grabbed 20 or more rebounds 11 times, among them a 29-board outburst against the Atlanta Hawks and 15 offensive boards (along with ten defensive) versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Led by the aging Jordan and Rodman (respectively 35 and 37 years old), the Bulls reached the 1998 NBA Finals, again versus the Jazz. After playing strong defense on Karl Malone in the first three games, he caused major consternation when he left his team prior to Game Four to go wrestling with Hulk Hogan. He was fined $20,000, but it was not even ten percent of what he earned with this stint. However, Rodman’s on-court performance remained top-notch, again shutting down Malone in Game Four until the latter scored 39 points in a Jazz Game Five win, bringing the series to 3–2 from the Bulls perspective. In Game Six, Jordan memorably hit the decisive basket after a controversial drive on Jazz forward Bryon Russell, the Bulls won their third title en bloc and Rodman his fifth ring.

In the off-season, Rodman and Malone squared off again, this time in WCW wrestling at the July 1998 edition of ’’Bash at the Beach’’. He fought alongside Hulk Hogan, and Malone tagged along with Diamond Dallas Page. In a poorly-received match, the two power forwards exchanged "rudimentary headlocks, slams and clotheslines" for 23 minutes.

Twilight years

Rodman left Chicago after the 1997–98 NBA season as the Bulls started a massive rebuilding phase, largely at the behest of then-general manager Jerry Krause who caused coach Jackson and his star players Jordan and Pippen to retire or leave. Rodman (with his sister acting as his agent at the time) joined the Los Angeles Lakers, for a pro rated salary. With the Lakers he only played in 23 games and was released. In the 1999–2000 NBA season, the then 38 year old power forward was signed by the Dallas Mavericks, meaning that Rodman returned to the place where he grew up. For the Mavericks, he played 12 games, was ejected twice and alienated the franchise with his erratic behavior until he was waived again; Dallas guard Steve Nash commented that Rodman "never wanted to be [a Maverick]" and therefore was unmotivated.

Post-NBA years

After his NBA career, Rodman took a long break from basketball and concentrated on his film career and on wrestling. In 1999, he fought "Macho Man" Randy Savage at Road Wild 1999 in which Savage shoved him in a portable toilet and eventually won the match. On July 30, 2000 for the i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling pay-per-view event, he fought against i-Generation Champion Curt Hennig. The event was subtitled Rodman Downunder. Rodman refrained from wrestling at the top level, but instead became Commissioner of the Lingerie Football League in 2005.

After a longer hiatus, Rodman returned to play basketball for the Long Beach Jam of the newly-formed American Basketball Association during the 2003–04 season, with hopes of being called up to the NBA midseason. In the following 2004–05 season, he signed with the ABA's Orange County Crush and the following season with the league's Tijuana Dragons. The return to the NBA never materialized, but on January 26, 2006, it was announced that Rodman had signed a one-game "experiment" deal for the UK basketball team Brighton Bears of the British Basketball League to play Guildford Heat on January 28, and went on to play three games for the Bears. In spring 2006, he played two exhibition games in the Philippines along with NBA ex-stars Darryl Dawkins, Kevin Willis, Calvin Murphy, Otis Birdsong and Alex English. On April 27, they defeated a team of former Philippine Basketball Association stars in Mandaue Citymarker, Cebumarker and Rodman scored five points and grabbed 18 rebounds. On May 1, 2006, Rodman's team played their second game and lost to the Philippine national basketball team 110–102 at the Araneta Coliseummarker, where he scored three points and recorded 16 rebounds.

In 2005, Rodman made two visits in Finlandmarker. At first, he was present at Sonkajärvimarker in July in a wife-carrying contest. However, he resigned from the contest due to health problems. In November, he played one match for Torpan Pojat of the Finland's basketball league, Korisliiga.

Legacy

From the beginning of his career Rodman was known for his defensive hustle, which was later accompanied by his rebounding prowess. In Detroit, he was mainly played as a small forward, and his usual assignment was to neutralize the opponent's best player; Rodman was so versatile that he could guard centers, forwards or guards equally well and won two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. From 1991 on, he established himself as one of the best rebounders of all time, never failing to average at least 15.0 boards in six of the next seven years. Playing power forward as member of the Spurs and the Bulls, he had a historical outburst in the 1996 NBA Finals: he twice snared 11 offensive rebounds, equalling an all-time NBA record. In addition, his personal best 34-rebound game is the second best board-grabbing performance since 1988, topped only by the 35-rebound game by Charles Oakley.

On offense, Rodman's output was mediocre. He averaged 11.6 points a game in his sophomore season, but his point average steadily dropped: in the three championship season with the Bulls, he averaged five points per game and connected on less than half of his field goal attempts. His free throw shooting (lifetime average: .584) was considered a big liability: in 1997, Bubba Wells of the Dallas Mavericks committed six intentional fouls against him in under three minutes, setting a record for the fastest foul out in NBA history. The intention was to force him to attempt free throws, which in theory would mean frequent misses and easy ball possession without giving up too many points. However, this plan backfired, as Rodman hit nine of these 12 attempts.

In 14 NBA years, Rodman played in 911 games and scored 6,683 points and grabbed 11,954 rebounds, translating to 7.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. His 13.1 rebounds per game make him the eleventh best player ever in this statistic; the next best player who played with or after him is Tim Duncan with 11.8 rpg as of 2008. NBA.com lauds Rodman as "arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history and one of the most recognized athletes in the world" but adds "enigmatic and individualistic, Rodman has caught the public eye for his ever-changing hair color, tattoos and unorthodox lifestyle". On the hardwood, he was recognized as one of the most successful defensive players ever, winning the NBA championship five times in six NBA Finals appearances (1989, 1990, 1996–8; only loss 1988), being crowned NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice (1990, 1991) and making seven NBA All-Defensive First Teams (1989–93, 1995, 1996) and NBA All-Defensive Second Teams (1994). He additionally made two All-NBA Third Teams (1992, 1995), two NBA All-Star Teams (1990, 1992) and won seven rebounding crowns (1992–98) and finally led the league once in field goal Percentage (1989). However, he was recognized as the prototype bizarre player, stunning basketball fans with his artificial hair colors, numerous tattoos and body piercings, multiple verbal and physical assaults versus officials, frequent ejections, and his tumultuous private life.

Media appearances

In 1996, Rodman had his own MTV reality talk show called The Rodman World Tour, which featured him in a series of odd-ball situations. This show was produced by Patrick Byrnes and written by Tom Cohen and Matt Price. A year later, he made his feature film debut in the action film Double Team alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film was critically panned and his performance earned him three Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst New Star, Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Screen Couple (shared with Van Damme). Rodman starred in Simon Sez, a 1999 action/comedy and co-starred with Tom Berenger in a 2000 action film about skydiving titled Cutaway. In 1998, he joined the cast of the syndicated TV show Special Ops Force, playing 'Deke' Reynolds, a flamboyant but skilled ex-Army helo pilot and demolitions expert.

Since then he has appeared in few acting roles outside of playing himself. Rodman voiced Zack, a character resembling him, in Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. He has made an appearance in an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun playing the character of himself, except being a fellow alien with the Solomon family. He also appeared in several reality soaps: in January 2006, Rodman appeared on the fourth versionmarker of Celebrity Big Brother in the UK, and on July 26, 2006, in the UK series Love Island as a houseguest contracted to stay for a week. Finally, he appeared on the show Celebrity Mole on ABC. He wound up winning the $222,000 grand prize.Rodman was the winner of Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling title defeating other challengers such as Butterbean and Dustin Diamond.

In 2008, Rodman joined as a spokesman for a sports website OPENSports.com, the brainchild of Mike Levy founder and former CEO of CBS Sportsline.com. Rodman also writes a blog and occasionally answers members' questions for OPEN Sports.

In 2009, he appeared as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. Throughout the season, each celebrity raised money for a charity of their choice; Rodman selected the Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Orleansmarker. He was the fifth contestant eliminated, on March 29, 2009.

Personal life

Rodman is the son of Shirley and Philander Rodman Jr. After Philander left when Dennis was three years old, Shirley took many odd jobs—at times, four at the same time—to support her family. In his 1997 biography Bad As I Wanna Be, he expresses his disgust for his father: "I haven't seen my father in more than 30 years, so what's there to miss... I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn't mean I have a father." Rodman lived together with his mother and his sisters Debra and Kim, who also played basketball and went on to become All-Americans at Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin respectively. Childhood was not easy for him: he experienced poverty, and he was so attached to his mother that he refused to move when she sent him to a nursery when he was four years old. Shirley Rodman was more interested in his two sisters Debra and Kim, who were both considered more talented than him in basketball (which made him a laughingstock whenever he tagged along with them), and was generally "overwhelmed" by this all-female household. When he had his growth spurt, he became even more withdrawn because he felt odd in his own body. Rodman was so insecure around women that he thought he was homosexual in his teens, was still a virgin when he was 20 years old, and finally had his first sexual experience with a prostitute; he described this as an unpleasant experience.

While at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Rodman was working at a summer youth basketball camp and befriended Byrne Rich, one of the campers. Rich was shy and withdrawn, stemming from a hunting accident in which he mistakenly shot and killed his best friend. The two became almost inseparable and formed a bond. Rich invited Rodman to his rural Oklahoma home; at first, Rodman was not well-received by the Riches due to being African-American. But, the Riches were so grateful to him for bringing their son out of his shell that they were able to set aside their prejudices. Although Rodman had severe family issues himself, he "adopted" the Riches as his own in 1982 and went from the city life to "driving a tractor and messing with cows." Rodman credits the Riches as his "surrogate family" that helped him through college.

After college and being drafted by the Pistons, Rodman met his girlfriend and later wife Anicka "Annie" Bakes and had a daughter Alexis (born 1989). She married and divorced him in 1993, an experience which left him traumatized. Rodman's refusal to take a HIV test was cited as the main conflict that led to the divorce. In that year, he was found asleep in his car with a loaded rifle in his hand, and it was rumored that he had tried to commit suicide, which he confirmed four years later: but instead of killing himself, he decided to symbolically kill the shy Dennis Rodman he hated and to be reborn as a man full of self-confidence.

Rodman has cited Pearl Jam as his favorite band and befriended them in the mid 1990s. During their No Code Tour, on September 26, 1996, he briefly came onstage to the excitement of the crowd and gave frontman Eddie Vedder a piggyback ride. Rodman later received a Walkman carved with Vedder's initials and containing the concert recording. He has since cited this as one his most thrilling experiences and claimed, "If it wasn't for Pearl Jam, my life would be a hell of a lot less fulfilling." Not long after, Rodman also gave his unworn #69 Lakers jersey to Eddie Vedder, and he cited Pearl Jam song lyrics in his 1996 autobiography, Bad As I Wanna Be.

After demanding and getting a trade to the San Antonio Spurs, he became the volatile character of his later years, began dating Madonna and claimed she actively tried to get a child from him. Shortly after, Rodman famously wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be, claimed that he was bisexual and that he was "marrying himself," thus the dress. In November 1998, he married Carmen Electra in a state of intoxication, and the marriage was invalidated after just 10 days. A year later, he met Michelle Moyer, who became his new girlfriend. Moyer bore him two children, namely a son called D.J. (born 2000) and a daughter named Trinity (born 2001). Moyer and Rodman married in 2003 on his 42nd birthday. It was described as a "big party," in line with Rodman's reputation as a notorious party organizer: after settling down in Newport Beachmarker, Californiamarker, the police appeared over 70 times at his home because of loud parties. Two years later, he published his second autobiography I Should Be Dead By Now and promoted this by sitting in a coffin. However, his private life remained rocky. On April 30, 2008, he was arrested following a domestic dispute incident at a Los Angelesmarker hotel. On June 24, 2008, he pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor spousal battery charges and was sentenced to one year of domestic violence counseling and three years probation. He received 45 hours of community service, which were to involve some physical labor activities.

Rodman admitted his frequent transgressions, but asserted that he lived his own life and thus a more honest life than most other people: "I just took the chance to be my own man... I just said: 'If you don't like it, kiss my ass.' ...Most people around the country, or around the world, are basically working people who want to be free, who want to be themselves. They look at me and see someone trying to do that... I'm the guy who's showing people, hey, it's all right to be different. And I think they feel: 'Let's go and see this guy entertain us.'"

Rodman is a long-time vegetarian, and in 2005, he became the first man, and the first sports star to pose (naked) for PETA's advertisement campaign "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur".

Books



References

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