Dennis Rodman, the former Detroit Piston and Chicago Bull star who took eccentric into a whole new stratosphere, says he was informed on Thursday that he’ll become one of the newest members of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
The official announcement won’t come until Monday, but in typical Rodman fashion he couldn’t wait to tell the world that he will be immortalized and his name will forever bear “Hall-of-Famer” next to it.
The announcement shouldn’t come as a shock. Rodman deserves the recognition because based on on-court performance the man who was affectionately called The Worm was one of basketball’s all-time best at his position, and when you are considered “the best” you belong in the halls of Springfield.
Rodman was a member of five NBA championship teams (two with the Pistons and three with the Bulls) and named defensive player of the year twice. Only Bill Russell and Scottie Pippen should be ranked ahead of Rodman when it came to defending the basketball. Rodman was honored Friday night by the Detroit Pistons, who retired his No. 10 jersey during halftime of their game against the Chicago Bulls.
Nothing was ever given to Rodman, and he had to work for every thing good that came his way. The second-round draft pick out of tiny Southeastern Oklahoma revolutionized the game with his unique ability to defend every position and non-stop pursuit of every rebound.
Even when he became a caricature of himself, with all the tattoos and the piercings and the 24-7 partying, Rodman remained one of the game’s top power forwards. And he also never got credit for possessing a very high basketball IQ.
Phil Jackson, considered the greatest NBA coach of all time, said on more than one occasion that Rodman was one of the smartest players he has ever coached, noting that Rodman quickly learned his complicated triangle offense without a hitch.
Rodman was among 12 finalists for the Hall of Fame this year along with players such as Jamaal Wilkes, Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin and Ralph Sampson. The induction ceremony is in August.