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'The Worm' Is in the Hall!
August 13, 2011 2:15 PM   Subscribe

With five NBA championships and seven rebounding titles won during his career, the oft-times colorful and flamboyant Dennis Rodman has earned a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. His heartfelt and emotional speech at his induction last night in Springfield, Massachusetts displays a very different Rodman.
posted by ericb (43 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
NBA: Rodman bares soul in emotional entrance to Hall of Fame.
posted by ericb at 2:15 PM on August 13, 2011


The Career of Dennis Rodman [video | 04:42].
posted by ericb at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2011


If you have the time, this series of blog posts makes a fascinating (and to me moderately compelling) case that Rodman is a "strong contender for first pick on the all-time NBA playground."
posted by dsfan at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Dennis Rodman interview with Jay Leno on 'The Tonight Show' (August 5, 2011): Part 1, 2
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on August 13, 2011


I always think of Rodman as the incarnation of Liberty. It ain't always pretty but sometimes it is awesome and in the long run it has pretty good stats.
posted by srboisvert at 2:38 PM on August 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


Best defensive boards player ever, IMO.

Glad to see he's so self-aware. Congrats.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:41 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why did he enter to the theme from City Slickers?
posted by nathancaswell at 2:45 PM on August 13, 2011


Awesome, now I can say I've been groped by NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman.

I have no superlative to add to "also had butt pinched by Carmen Electra. Perhaps one day we can have that most superlative of superlatives Mefi's Own.
posted by PapaLobo at 2:47 PM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


He was on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, I believe. Unnerving, a bit. Makes me want to not believe a word he says, but then I'm cynical that way.
posted by Melismata at 2:52 PM on August 13, 2011


Perhaps one day we can have that most superlative of superlatives Mefi's Own.

Mefi's Zone Defense
posted by hal9k at 2:53 PM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


He was on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, I believe. Unnerving, a bit. Makes me want to not believe a word he says, but then I'm cynical that way.

Why would that have anything to do with his HOF acceptance speech?
posted by nathancaswell at 3:00 PM on August 13, 2011


I saw Rodman at a club maybe 12 years ago. One of the girls I was with ran over to get a picture with him. For the picture he stood behind her and cupped her breasts. When she came back she was crying uncontrollably. I figured she was upset over the way Rodman touched her and asked if she was ok, she told me she was crying because she was so happy Rodman touched her.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:05 PM on August 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I figured she was upset over the way Rodman touched her

Eh, you know what they say... mess with the worm, get the segmental ganglia and both male and female sex organs.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:09 PM on August 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well she also added it sucked because she could never show her husband the picture.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:11 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


God damn. Good show, sir. The video is worth watching for the display of emotion and humility, but here is a salient quote:

"This man here [Phil Jackson], I could, I could hug him because he's the only, only, he's the only man that ever cried for me. You know, cause I was really um, I was really burning both ends of the candle for a long time. That the reason why I said I'm surprised I'm still here. And not everyone knows that. But uh, I'd like to set the record straight just for the time being, and maybe hope for that in the future, that I could actually try to be somewhat of a good, a good individual, and a good father to my kids, and uh, hopefully that I could love you [his mother] like I used to when I was born, and uh, Thank you guys."

Rodman is publicly weighing his laurels against his demons in a manner that speaks like a private confession - a cathartic affirmation for his troubled soul. I wonder at his resultant state of mind if he had continued to be excluded from the Hall for political reasons. It seems like he really needed to say what he did, in the way that he did, in the Hall that he did.
posted by troll at 3:27 PM on August 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


I don't follow sports and only knew peripherally of Rodman, from the news of his victories and his mishaps. And I have to say I am tearing up a bit after seeing that video. Rodman used the sport to overcome his circumstances, but "you can take the boy out of the ghetto but you can't take the ghetto out of the boy" and his circumstances came back for him. But now he is overcoming all that a second time, this time with more insight and knowledge bought with pain. I know a few people who need to give a speech like that but who will never be able to, not because they won't be propped up on a podium in front of an audience but simply because they will never find that humility within themselves.
posted by localroger at 3:44 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Melismata: “He was on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, I believe. Unnerving, a bit. Makes me want to not believe a word he says, but then I'm cynical that way.”

Yeah, I know what you mean – I don't believe a word Dr Drew says, either. What an opportunistic, narcissistic jerk.
posted by koeselitz at 3:47 PM on August 13, 2011 [19 favorites]


I just think that Rodman gets 100 bonus points for dressing as he did for that induction ceremony. He's long been a bit outside the norm as far as professional sports goes when it comes to how he carried himself and such, but it takes a special kind of person to show up to a highlight moment in one's life and the history of one's sport dressed like that and be able to carry it off like he did.

Gay? Probably not. But queer? Most certainly.
posted by hippybear at 3:49 PM on August 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dude could rebound, full stop.
posted by bardic at 3:50 PM on August 13, 2011


Ah, koeselitz, I needed that laugh. I'm all teared up from watching this...

I really don't like sports, especially the competitive jocky team sports, and Rodman, of course, being so "out there" seemed to personify the ego-driven jock culture. To see this hit me in the gut because it's what I wish so many in our society could do.

I would hope that maybe this could be a sort of sign that it's OK to be emotional, in public even. That it's ok to not always have to be the tough guy.

That was just amazing, and to admit so much wrong, you can see that he has a lot of self doubt and pain and he knows he has many problems and he struggles with it. He is, on other words, human. And probably more aware of it than most people who build up barriers of defensive mechanisms to ignore a lot of our foibles.

This is a man who it seems is working to tear down those defenses. I can only hope that he can tear them down, come to understand what he needs to and then push past it into being the better father, husband and son that he so wants to be. I hope that his guilt and pain of being not what he should inhibits him from pushing beyond.

Umm, ok. Props to him for giving me faith in a small slice of humanity :)
posted by symbioid at 3:52 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Penny Marshall is making a Rodman doc?
posted by k8t at 4:16 PM on August 13, 2011


Gay? Probably not. But queer? Most certainly.

Interesting point. I have no idea what Rodman's sexuality is, but he was certainly more flamboyant than any actually out of the closet athlete would be. In a very real sense, Rodman was the first "out" NBA player, and he didn't even have to have sex with dudes to do it!
posted by auto-correct at 4:20 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been a great fan of Rodman's for years. Hate him or love him, the guy was one of the most authentic people, forget athletes, who has been in the public eye.

As an senior in high school, I read his first book, which was about the friendship he and Bryne Rich, the son of a family he stayed with while playing college ball, developed. Reading about Rodman's bond with Bryne helped me make it through a tough family situation I was going through at the time. He mentions the Riches in the beginning of this speech.

I also remember seeing an interview he did with Roy Firestone where Rodman began crying because he wasn't able to see his daughter. I've seen a lot of athletes cry, but there was something raw and genuine about Rodman's emotion.

I'm not sure what happened in the later part of the '90s and in the 2000s that led him off the rails. This speech shows that beneath all the BS, he's still the sweet, sensitive guy I read about as a lost 17 year old.
posted by reenum at 4:31 PM on August 13, 2011


He was on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, I believe. Unnerving, a bit. Makes me want to not believe a word he says, but then I'm cynical that way.

Why would that have anything to do with his HOF acceptance speech?

because addicts make speeches like this a lot, and know how to tug on peoples heart strings to give them 'one more chance.'
posted by coaster at 4:34 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, because being inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame is a definite cry for help and he certainly needs to use the opportunity to beg everyone for one more chance.
posted by hippybear at 4:41 PM on August 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I know fuckall about basketball, but Rodman has always struck me as a wholly genuine person, almost painfully so. He's like this mountain of raw emotion at all times, which must be seriously exhausting for him, but he seems a lot more self-aware than most people in his relative position, so yeah, srsly fucking good for him.

(Also it seems a bit ridiculous that at the BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME they have not yet learned to set up the microphone higher for the tall-ass mofos they've got up on stage on a regular basis.)
posted by elizardbits at 4:47 PM on August 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


The Worm.
posted by Sailormom at 5:26 PM on August 13, 2011


I'll give him a pass on everything, except his days in WCW.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:10 PM on August 13, 2011


As a certified expert in bullshit addict bullshit, I can say that this speech is classic addict bullshit. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's not buying it.
posted by item at 6:28 PM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, in Dallas '94-'95 my circle's path overlapped with his on quite a few occasions. Rodman was the absolute opposite of genuine back then, and that was back when I was young and influential and my bullshit detector was still in its infancy.
posted by item at 6:34 PM on August 13, 2011


The man could play ball, though.
posted by item at 6:35 PM on August 13, 2011


He's long been a bit outside the norm as far as professional sports goes when it comes to how he carried himself and such, but it takes a special kind of person to show up to a highlight moment in one's life and the history of one's sport dressed like that and be able to carry it off like he did.

I have a very, very clear memory of a tiny picture of Rodman in the wedding dress in the In the Wake of the News column on the left hand side of the front of the Tribune sports section. He definitely taught me something doing that, even if I didn't realise it at the time and even if I'm still not exactly sure what the lesson was.

Also, holy crap, Phil Jackson looks old.
posted by hoyland at 7:13 PM on August 13, 2011


Just wanted to chime in to say that although I know basically nothing about basketball, I found the series of blog posts that dsfan linked to be absolutely fascinating (most especially the concluding one in the series).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:15 PM on August 13, 2011


I've always liked the man...glad to see he's still letting his freak flag fly (at least a little.)
posted by schyler523 at 7:41 PM on August 13, 2011


Rodman is the man. There is a reason he has five championships, and it isn't all Michael. Glad to see him in the hall, and Artis Gilmore too!
posted by caddis at 7:44 PM on August 13, 2011


Dear god, what a moving public confession. In front of his peers and admirers, he admits he wasn't a good father, husband, and son. Coach looked stunned. Very moving.
posted by RSVP at 9:02 PM on August 13, 2011


Best defensive boards player ever, IMO.

Pink hair or no pink hair, if he went up, he was probably coming down with the ball.
posted by Trochanter at 9:51 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never paid much attention to Rodman off the court, but on the court it was clear his basketball intellect was tops. Indeed his rebounding was astounding, as was his defense, but how he placed himself, even in the offense was spectacular. He entirely belonged on the Bulls with Tex Winter and Phil Jackson court side and Jordan, Pippen, and Kukoc on the court, though of course at that time most if not all the Bull's players played with extreme discipline mixed with systemic creativity. Yes they had Jordan to fall back on when things went awry, but things didn't often go awry for them back then. A true team with each component or rather player, executing very well in their roles.

I've fallen away from Basketball since, but I was not surprised to see another total team, the Mavericks, defeat the Heat. Basketball smarts and execution will get you the rings.
posted by juiceCake at 10:42 PM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


So happy that The Worm is in the Hall, because I was always a little afraid that his off-the-court antics (and the infamous taking off his shoes incident when on the Spurs) would cause some of the traditionalists to not vote him into the Hall. Dude was the greatest defensive player of the last 50 years (and all time IMHO), and for all his notoriety off the court, it paled to what he did on the court, if you knew enough about basketball. That guy did The Work on defense, and its a shame that defense isn't lauded more by the sports media the way offense is, because if it was, people would be talking about him in the same the same breath they talk about Dr. J, Jordan, Magic & Bird.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:46 PM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Intangibles.
posted by pianomover at 8:11 AM on August 14, 2011


If that was me up there, my wife would come up to me afterward and "good speech, sorry asshole, but don't think one speech is going to make up for ANY OF IT."

He's gotta do the long grind, get it perfect off the court for as many years as he got it perfect on the court, and get inducted into his family.

That speech was heroic bullshit.
posted by roboton666 at 10:50 AM on August 14, 2011


‎444,000 views for Rodman's induction speech, only 900 for the A-Train.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:33 AM on August 15, 2011


As a certified expert in bullshit addict bullshit, I can say that this speech is classic addict bullshit. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's not buying it.

What, you think he's high?
posted by Theta States at 7:20 AM on August 17, 2011


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