A very emotional Dennis Rodman gave the realest and most heartfelt induction speech at the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement. Â Choked up and almost unable to get the words out, Rodman kept it 100% honest speaking on his mother, father, wife, and kids. Â Read more and check the video after the jump.
On a night where he was being recognized for his basketball talents Rodman chose to bare his soul on the stage, talking about his difficult life and personal shortcomings. Â ”I coud’ve been dead; I could’ve been a drug dealer. I could’ve been homeless — I was homeless,” he said. “A lot of you guys that are in here in the Hall of Fame know what it’s like to be in the projects and trying to get out the projects. And I did that. But it took a lot of bumps along the road.”
He thanked Commissioner David Stern and the NBA community “to even just have me in the building” and saved his deepest appreciation for coaches Phil Jackson and Chuck Daly, Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and James Rich, whose family took Rodman in after his mother threw him out of the house. Â He turned to Phil Jackson a couple times during the speech for emotional support when he couldn’t get the words out.
He spoke about his father who wrote a book and cashed in on Rodman’s fame despite never being in his life. Â ”He made a lot of money, but he never came and said hello to me,” Rodman said. “But that didn’t stop me from persevering.”
He also spoke about his turbulent relationship with his mother who kicked him out the house and now sat in the audience. Â ”I resented her for a long time,” he said. “My mother rarely ever hugged me or hugged my siblings. She didn’t know how. But she managed. Â ”I wasn’t like most players in the NBA who say, ‘I’m going to take care of my mother.’ I was real selfish, because of things she did to me in my life. But as I got older things changed. I haven’t been a great son to you the last [few] years, but now we can laugh about that.”
What really struck a nerve is when Rodman spoke about his wife and three children, who also sat in the audience. Â ”If anyone asks if I have any regrets in your career being a basketball player, I say I have one regret: I wish I was a better father, ” Rodman said as his eyes filled with tears.
Many people disputed whether Rodman should have been inducted in the Hall of Fame but he certainly earned it; he grabbed more rebounds than any other player in seven straight seasons from 1991 to ’98, and he finished his career with the best rebound rate (23.4) in NBA history.Â Â Arguably one of the best defensive players to touch the court, Rodman will definitely be remembered, not only for his skills on the court but also his antics off the court. Â And in true Rodman fashion he went out leaving a lasting memory.