Last night proved that Dennis Rodman is undoubtedly a Detroit icon. But Rodman’s star power far exceeded what he accomplished with the Pistons, and basketball fans everywhere watched with interest as the Pistons retired his jersey number. Here are links to great coverage of the night from all over the web:
Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo!’s Ball Don’t Lie:
Something changed on Friday, though. Perhaps it was the shot of a young Rodman on the marquee outside the Palace at Auburn Hills, unfettered by jewelry or skin-and-ink artistry. Maybe it was the Palace setting itself — the building was rightfully hailed as years ahead of its time when it debuted in 1988, but now even some of its gaudier elements seem quite tame. Perhaps it was the nostalgia, which has a way of both humbling and enervating even the person that’s being paid tribute to. For whatever reason, as it was 25 years ago, the Detroit Pistons turned Dennis Rodman into a basketball player again on Friday night.
Detroit couldn’t help it. They’d seen from afar the tattooed Rodman, the guy with the crazy hair and outlandish (for the 1990s, at least) style who courted Madonna and posed nude on the cover of his bestselling books as he played for the Spurs and Bulls. But Detroit never knew that guy. No, they knew the shy and sensitive Rodman that sheepishly made his way onto the Pistons roster as a 25-year-old rookie in 1986.
Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed:
If you didn’t have the honor of following Dennis’s career you probably don’t realize what kind of person he really is. The hair, tattoos and the stunts don’t even scratch the surface of the emotion, heart and will that Dennis had. Rodman left his mark on this franchise and not only will his jersey hang in the rafters of the Palace forever, the’s going to deservedly be inducted into the Basketball Hall of fame this year.
Brian Packey, Detroit Bad Boys:
Mine (favorite moment), well, here are the highlights of mine. Dennis Rodman, just as he was really starting to show his weirdness and a year after winning his second straight DPOY award, grabbing a career high and franchise record 34 rebounds against the Indiana Pacers in a 1992 game. This was also around the time I started to vividly remember live Pistons games, as I was just 7-years-old.
Sidenote: I was at last night’s game with my younger brother. They flashed a graphic at the Palace that said Rodman set the single-game Pistons record for rebounds on March 4, 1992, which was the day my brother was born. Pretty cool moment for him, since he was too young to have a real connection with the Bad Boys teams. — PH
Bob Wojnowski, The Detroit News:
But this was Rodman’s night, a chance to finally celebrate one of the truly unique players ever. Of course, there were the off-court theatrics, from the rainbow hair to the tattoos to the dalliance with Madonna. That was the free-spirited Rodman, and he makes no apologies for who he is. He strode into The Palace in that same loping gait, wearing a burgundy jacket with purple, pink and silver scarves.
Vincent Goodwill, The Detroit News:
It took him 30 seconds after receiving the microphone before the tears began welling from his sunglass-covered eyes. He was candid, making fun of himself and his teammates.
It was “The Worm” at his finest. Vulnerable, comical and most importantly, authentic.
George Blaha, Pistons.com:
Look at the names hanging from the rafters – a Hall of Fame coach; an all-time great GM; and then Isiah and Joe, Hall of Famers who played in the backcourt together; Vinnie Johnson, who was as hard to guard as any off-the-bench player in the history of basketball; and Bill Laimbeer, who was one of the great competitors of all time, a terrific clutch player and, like Dennis, a great rebounder.
Add all of that up and you have a team that, no matter what anybody else wants to say, nobody wanted to play against and almost nobody could beat.
Charlie Villanueva, Twitter:
David Mayo, Grand Rapids Press:
In 2008, as part of the Pistons’ 50th anniversary in Detroit, Rodman was selected as one of the team’s 30 greatest players. He skipped that ceremony.
“I should’ve come but I didn’t come,” he said. “Maybe silly reasons. But I’m not trying to disrespect the organization, because they’ve done so much for me. My career was built here. Unfortunate that things had to move on. But, like I said, time changes and hopefully heals all wounds.”
Paul Kampe and Dave Pemberton, The Oakland Press:
Rodman knows it’s hard for people to view him as anything but a partier and a bad boy and he’s fine with that. Friday was special to him because of his kids.
“My kids never seen me play,” Rodman said. “Not even videos. This will probably be the first time they see a video of their father actually doing something positive in life. That’s going to be an emotional thing for me to see.”
Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press:
And McCloskey, who discovered Rodman at the Portsmouth Invitational in 1986, summed it up best.
“You are the greatest defender, the most talented defender I have ever seen,” said McCloskey, 85.
Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press:
It was nice having Rodman back where he belonged – home. But it’s even more reassuring that Rodman finally appears at peace with the decisions made and the occasionally twisted road travelled. He offered no apologies, no regrets. It’s taken awhile but it looks like the Worm finally grew up.
Keith Langlois, Pistons.com:
Rodman will be announced as an inductee in the next class of basketball’s Hall of Fame on Monday, and he deserves that, too. He so clearly deserves his number hanging in the rafters, for his basketball achievements alone, but for more than that. The Hall is all about achievement, but being honored by an organization with a jersey retirement is about more than achievement. It’s the acknowledgment of the bond between a region’s people and the athletes who embody what those people value most.
In Michigan, that’s an easy blueprint. Play hard – all out, all the time – and put the team and winning first. Rodman, for all the flamboyance that ensued once Daly left and the Bad Boys began to splinter, was always about winning, always about the Pistons.