Dennis Keith Rodman is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association. He was nicknamed “The Worm” and is famous for his fierce defensive and rebounding abilities. Take a look below for 40 more fun and interesting facts and Dennis Keith Rodman.
1. Rodman was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Shirley and Philander Rodman, Jr., an Air Force enlisted member, who later fought in the Vietnam War.
2. When he was young, his father left his family, eventually settling in the Philippines.
3. Rodman has many brothers and sisters: according to his father, he has either 26 or 28 siblings on his father’s side. However, Rodman himself has stated that he is the oldest of a total of 47 children.
4. After his father left, Shirley took many odd jobs to support the family, up to four at the same time.
5. In his 1997 biography Bad As I Wanna Be, he expresses his feelings 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”.
6. Rodman and his two sisters, Debra and Kim, grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, at the time one of the most impoverished areas of the city.
7. Rodman was so attached to his mother that he refused to move when she sent him to a nursery when he was four years old.
8. According to Rodman, his mom was more interested in his two sisters, who were both considered more talented than he was in basketball, and made him a laughing stock whenever he tagged along with them.
9. He felt generally “overwhelmed” by the all-female household.
10. Debra and Kim would go on to become All-Americans at Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin, respectively. Debra won two national titles with the Lady Techsters.
11. While attending South Oak Cliff High School, Rodman was a gym class student of future Texas A&M basketball coach Gary Blair.
12. Blair coached Rodman’s sisters Debra and Kim, winning three state championships. However, Rodman was not considered an athletic standout.
13. According to Rodman, 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.
14. Measuring only 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) as a freshman in high school, he also failed to make the football teams and was “totally devastated”.
15. After finishing school, Rodman worked as an overnight janitor at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
16. He then experienced a sudden growth spurt and decided to try basketball again despite becoming even more withdrawn because he felt odd in his own body.
17. A family friend tipped off the head coach of Cooke County College (now North Central Texas College) in Gainesville, Texas.
18. In his single semester there, he averaged 17.6 points and 13.3 rebounds, before flunking out due to poor academic performance.
19. 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 twice (1985, 1986). In three seasons there (1983–1986), he averaged 25.7 points and 15.7 rebounds, led the NAIA in rebounding twice and registered a .637 field goal percentage.
20. At the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a pre-draft camp for NBA hopefuls, he won Most Valuable Player honors and caught the attention of the Detroit Pistons.
21. During college Rodman worked at a summer youth basketball camp, where he befriended camper Bryne Rich, who was shy and withdrawn due to a hunting accident in which he mistakenly shot and killed his best friend. The two became almost inseparable and formed a close bond.
22. Rich invited Rodman to his rural Oklahoma home; at first, Rodman was not well-received by the Riches because he was black. 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.
23. Although Rodman had severe family and personal 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”. Though Rodman credited the Riches as his “surrogate family” that helped him through college, as of 2013 he had stopped communicating with the Rich family for reasons unknown to them.
24. Rodman made himself eligible for the 1986 NBA draft. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons as the 3rd pick in the second round (27th overall), joining the rugged team of coach Chuck Daly that was called “Bad Boys” for their hard-nosed approach to basketball.
25. In the 1993–1994 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 Vinny Del Negro.
26. Prior to the 1995–1996 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 1994–1995 season.
27. 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.
28. He dated Madonna and claimed she tried to conceive a child with him.
29. Shortly after, Rodman famously wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be, claiming that he was bisexual and that he was marrying himself.
30. After his NBA career, Rodman took a long break from basketball and concentrated on his film career and on wrestling.
31. Rodman took up his hobby of professional wrestling seriously and appeared on the edition of March 10 of Monday Nitro with his friend Hollywood Hulk Hogan in World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
32. At the March 1997 Uncensored event, he appeared as a member of the nWo.
33. 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.
34. At the August 1997 Road Wild event, Rodman appeared as the Impostor Sting hitting Luger with a baseball bat to help Hogan win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
35. On July 30, 2000, Rodman competed on the i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling Rodman Down Under pay-per-view event. He fought against i-Generation Champion Curt Hennig in an Australian Outback match; Hennig won the match by disqualification. Following the match, Rodman refrained from wrestling at the top level and retired.
36. Rodman came out of retirement to appear as a contestant on Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling, broadcast on CMT. Rodman was the winner of the series, defeating other challengers such as Butterbean and Dustin Diamond.
37. 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.
38. In 2005, Rodman became the first man to pose naked for PETA’s advertisement campaign “Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur”.
39. Since his initial entry into acting, he has appeared in few acting roles outside of playing himself. Rodman 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 voiced an animated version of himself in the Simpsons episode “Treehouse of Horror XVI”.
40. On November 5, 1999, Rodman and his then-wife, Carmen Electra, were charged with misdemeanors after police were notified of a domestic disturbance. Each posted $2,500 in bail and were released with a temporary restraining order placed on them.