Basketball legend Dennis Rodman is forever grabbing headlines.
Whether it’s for his long career with the Pistons, the Lakers and the Bulls or his notorious romances with the likes of Madonna and Carmen Electra, The Worm can’t resist being in the public eye.
And he’s known, too, for his myriad amazing looks – wearing a wedding dress to promote his autobiography or dyeing his hair a zillion colours to keep his fans entertained and fascinated.
He’s extended that flamboyance into the virtual world now with a completely CGI but nevertheless totally cool “implanted cigar dispenser”.
A video on his Instagram account shows Rodman reclining as a motorised cradle lifts a cigar from a secret compartment in his forearm.
It even has a dedicated cigar cutter to prepare the cheroot for smoking.
Some fans have commented that they’re not sure if it’s real or not, and one commenter has suggested it’s a great place to hide a hot dog.
It’s not real though. It’s CGI of the kind of quality that would have passed muster in a Hollywood movie just a few years ago, but now Rodman is just using it for laughs. The extraordinary illusion was created by effects artist Nicholas King.
It’s a warning to his pal Kim Jong-un though that the next time the New Jersey born star visits Pyongyang, the leader’s bodyguards will have one extra place to search for weapons.
Things you didn’t know about Dennis Rodman
From tales of Rodman’s unusual journey to the NBA, his rise with the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, success with the Chicago Bulls, and off-court antics, Rodman remains one of the most compelling figures in any sport.
Rodman’s tale also involved his transformation into an enigmatic figure who pushed the boundaries for an athlete. His journey after the NBA has been up and down, including an unexpected friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Believe it or not Rodman described himself as “really shy” growing up, saying he’d hide behind his mother and sisters.
Rodman grew up without his father, Philander, who fathered 28 children. He has said his mom was often more interested in his sisters, who were local basketball stars. Rodman was not athletic and barely played sports.
After high school, Rodman got a job at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport as a janitor, which he called “the beginning of the end for me.”
Rodman was arrested for stealing watches from an aiport store and spent the night at a jail in the airport. Criminal charges were eventually dropped because he didn’t sell the watches.
Rodman bounced between jobs, lacking direction until his mother kicked him out of her house two years later.
Rodman lived on the streets, sleeping at friends’ houses, in their backyards, in parks, or behind a 7-11. He said he did nothing during his days, simply walking around town. Rodman said he had begun to accept that “this was the way it was gonna be for the rest of my life.”
After graduating high school, Rodman hit a sudden growth spurt, going from 5-foot-8 to 6-foot-8 in a little over a year. He began playing basketball at a local rec center when he was noticed by Cooke County, a junior college in Gainesville, Texas.
Though Rodman flunked out of junior college and never played a full season of basketball, Lonn Reisman, an assistant coach of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, a small NAIA school, noticed Rodman and recruited him.
Reisman said when he went to Rodman’s mother’s house to recruit Rodman, Rodman did not come out his room for several hours. Eventually, when he did, he was convinced to visit Southeastern Oklahoma State.
While in Durant, Oklahoma, Rodman worked at a local basketball camp where he befriended a 12-year-old named Bryne Rich. Rodman and Rich eventually grew closer and Rodman moved into the Rich’s house, calling them his “surrogate” family.
Rich became the college basketball team’s ball boy. Rodman called it a “changing point” in his life because “someone actually liked me.”
While at Southeastern Oklahoma, Rodman dominated on the court, winning NAIA All-American three times. Rodman was still relatively new to the concepts of basketball but went all-out on the court. He averaged 26 points and 16 rebounds per game for his college career.
Rodman was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 27th pick in the 1986 draft.
Rodman was 26 when he entered the NBA, far older than most rookies. Former Pistons president Tom Wilson called Rodman “extraordinarily, painfully shy” and hard to get comfortable around.
Isiah Thomas called Rodman “sweet” and “innocent.” Many of the Pistons loved Rodman, but felt he was immature and naive.
However, on the court, Rodman wowed teammates and the NBA with his unique style of play. Rodman didn’t care about scoring. Instead, he focused on rebounding and defense.
Rodman also had a knack for tirelessly chasing loose balls. Isiah Thomas said Rodman turned the NBA “upside down, on its own head.”
Rodman’s dedication to rebounding was historic.
Rodman would study how players shot the ball, counting the rotations of the ball in the air and where their misses would go. He would watch film of all misses to see which direction the ball went off the rim. He also held late-night rebounding sessions with friends where he would track where the ball went.
Rodman became a key cog on the “Bad Boy” Pistons, known for their rough, physical style of play. The Pistons made three straight Finals appearance from 1987-1990, winning the championship in 1989 and 1990.
However, things eventually turned south in Detroit for Rodman.
In 1992-93, Rodman admitted to losing motivation to play. His attitude turned sour around the Pistons and was reportedly “despondent.” Rodman said he was likely depressed.
On February 11, 1993, Rodman was found asleep in his car outside the Pistons arena, with a loaded rifle.
I had the gun in my lap, and next thing you know, I fell asleep listening to Pearl Jam. Then I woke up, and all the cops and everyone was there. I didn’t know what was going on. I totally forgot I had a gun in my hand. They got me out of the car. That was pretty much what it was.”
Rodman said he was struggling with the business of the NBA and had little connection to loved ones in his life outside of basketball.
In 1993, Rodman was traded from the Pistons to the Spurs, which marked a turning point in his career.
Rodman not only began to embrace that he was different than many NBA stars, but he also began to show more personality. At his introduction in San Antonio, he revealed he dyed his hair in a blonde mohawk like Wesley Snipes in “Demolition Man.”
Rodman described himself as an “entertainer” in San Antonio, frequently changing his hair color, dressing differently, and showing more of his personality.
When he started getting some positive reinforcement for letting his freak flag fly, then it kind of opened the floodgates,” Michael Siver, who profiled Rodman for Sports Illustrated in 1995, said.
Rodman also began a high-profile relationship with Madonna.
Some claimed their relationship brought Rodman’s national profile to a new level.
“Without Madonna, there’s no Dennis Rodman as we know him,” former teammate John Salley said.
Silver’s 1995 profile of Rodman also revealed that Rodman liked dressing in drag, partying at gay night clubs, and had sexual fantasies about men, though he denied being gay.
Rodman’s embrace of the LGBTQ community was rare in the sports world at the time and also exposed him to new audiences, raising his national profile further. However, some debated whether Rodman’s involvement in the LGBTQ community was genuine or meant to be “shock value.”
Rodman eventually fell out of favor with the Spurs and was traded to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.
Rodman proved to be a good fit with the Bulls. His defense and rebounding were valuable skills for a team welcoming back Michael Jordan from a break to play baseball.
The Bulls, under Phil Jackson also embraced Rodman’s personality, so long as he played his role on the team.
Rodman became an even bigger celebrity in Chicago thanks to the Bulls dominance and the spotlight on Jordan. He said he was more famous than Jordan from 1996-98.
In 1996, Rodman promoted the release of his biography, “Bad As I Wanna Be,” by dressing in a bride’s wedding dress and going to a book store in New York City. The event drew thousands of spectators. The book went to No. 1 on The New York Times Bestsellers list.
Rodman played a critical role on the Bulls in 1997-98 as Scottie Pippen was sidelined. Rodman became Jordan’s No. 2, lifting the Bulls with his defense and rebounding.
It was revealed in “The Last Dance” that midway during the 1997-98 season, Rodman asked for a vacation and went to Las Vegas for 48 hours. He stayed away from the team for several days until Jordan literally went to his apartment and brought him to practice.
Rodman’s career fell off quickly after the Bulls championship in 1998.
He was released by the Bulls in 1998, and played with the Lakers and Mavericks over the next two seasons, but appeared in just 35 total games during that time. He retired in 2000.
In 1998, Rodman briefly married model and actress Carmen Electra, who was with Rodman during his vacation in Vegas. They divorced after less than a year.
Rodman played basketball in the ABA, China, Mexico, and Finland, but never stayed long in any of the leagues.
After basketball, Rodman was involved in reality TV, appearing on shows like “Celebrity Big Brother” and “The Apprentice.”
After retiring, Rodman also struggled with substance abuse.
His ex-wife Michelle said in the early 2000s, Rodman partied five times a week, often drinking all day long. Rodman was often seen partying in bars and police were frequently called to his Los Angeles beach home.
Rodman has been cited for DUIs in 1999, 2003, and 2018. He was sentenced to three years probation in 2018.
Arguably, nothing has garnered Rodman as much fame since retiring as his surprising friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Rodman first went to North Korea in 2013 for a basketball exhibition, which led to his friendship with Kim.
Rodman has drawn criticism for the friendship, as Kim rules over a totalitarian state with a poor human rights record.
In 2014, Rodman grew angry defending himself and Kim during an interview on CNN. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He later apologized for the incident.
Rodman also flew to the Donald Trump-Kim summit in Singapore in 2018.
He did not take part in the summit and appeared to be there to promote a cannabis cryptocurrency. He told Business Insider in 2019 that he frequently receives invites to North Korea, but is not allowed to go.
“It’s up to Donald Trump,” Rodman said. “So if he opens the doors — I get calls all the time. They want me to come back every month, but I can’t go because Donald won’t let me go.”
Amid reports that Kim is in poor health following surgery, Rodman told TMZ that he hopes they are just “rumors.”
Rodman has gotten sober several times, though he has also had relapses. His former agent said in December of 2019 that Rodman was four months sober. It’s unclear if he still is today.
Rodman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. He gave an emotional speech in which he thanked several of his coaches and teammates for caring for him. He also apologized for not being a better son to his mother or a better father to his four kids.
Rodman has said he thinks he would be a drug dealer, in jail, or dead if not for basketball.
Denns Rodman says he is not Gay or BI.
Slaylebrity Networth Stats
While playing with the Chicago Bulls in 1997 to 1998, he earned an incredible salary of £7.2million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He retired from basketball in 2011 with a total career earning estimated at £21.5million.
However he blew it all away and currently has a network of about $500,000 at 58 years old.
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