Dennis Rodman highlights the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame, among other notable members including Chris Mullin, Arvydas Sabonis, Chris Mullin and Tex Winter. That being written, it seems only fitting to remember just how good the Worm was in the NBA with a look at video of some of the Bad Boy's greatest hits.
Rodman didn't take an easy road to the NBA because the flamboyant rebounder wasn't a prodigy like the majority of Hall of Famers, but instead an aggressive hustler that only decided to play college basketball after a growth spurt after graduating from high school.
Rodman began his ascent to the NBA at Cooke County College, flunked out after just one semester, and then transferred to Southeast Oklahoma State where he'd put his name in the record books as a three-time NAIA All-American while beginning to show his rebounding prowess by leading the league twice in the category. Basketball highlights from mid-80s NAIA schools are hard to come by, but the few available tip off the first video of this career retrospective.
Following Rodman's career at Southeast Oklahoma State, along with a stellar performance at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, he was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft.
Rodman would go on to win two championships with the Pistons as well as earn both of his Defensive Player of the Year and two NBA All-Star berths, but his time in Detroit as a member of the Bad Boys set the state for what was yet to come as his grit, toughness and attitude began to show through.
Rodman didn't feel he was appreciated during his time with the Pistons, though, and requested a trade prior to the 1993-94 season -- a request the team would grant as Rodman was sent to the San Antonio Spurs for Sean Elliott, David Wood and a draft pick that became the Junkyard Dog, Jerome Williams.
Rodman spent just two seasons with a Spurs team featuring David Robinson, but during that time he led the league in rebounds with 17.3 and 16.8 respectively while also showing the first signs of his out of this world attitude as he began to dye his hair crazy colors and have a pretty public relationship with Madonna. With the Spurs, Rodman also met Jack Haley, a towel-waving center that basically became Rodman's babysitter with the Chicago Bulls.
The Spurs dealt Rodman, at the age of 34, to the Chicago Bulls in hopes of getting rid of a player deemed more of a nuisance than anything -- and, at the time, it seemed to be a pretty large gamble for the Bulls as well. Coach Phil Jackson needed someone to do the dirty work alongside superstars Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, however, and general manager Jerry Krause decided that Rodman was worth the risk.
Rodman played three seasons with the Bulls, helping guide the team to three championships and an astonishing 72-10 record during the 1995-96 season that still stands today as the most regular season wins by an NBA franchise. Rodman also kept up his league-leading rebounder streak, now extended to seven seasons, while doing whatever it took to keep his team competitive.
Following the break up of the Bulls in the 1998 offseason, Rodman would join the Lakers for the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season and then the Mavericks for a brief stint the following year, but the Worm was never really able to do anything highlight-worthy (or even noteworthy) on the court following his three seasons in Chicago.
Knowing that, this seems like a fine time to take a look at Rodman's other antics in video form.
First up, below is a video of Rodman getting into the heads of the Shaquille O'Neal-led Lakers during a regular season game. Most interesting is that he seems ready to throw a punch but doesn't, possibly trying to get Shaq to prematurely retaliate and end the game in the locker room.
Rodman's antics weren't privy only to the players, though, as the following video shows the Bulls enforcer kicking a cameraman that was apparently deemed too close to the action by the Worm. No idea why the Minnesota Timberwolves audio guys decided to play the Andy Griffith theme during the altercation, but it adds a bit to the video, don't you think?
Further straying from basketball, but not all the way, Rodman also famously decided to join the WCW for a few matches -- the mos infamous being a slopfest tag-team match with Utah Jazz superstar Karl Malone.
When it's all said and done, though, his brilliant on-court play is what allowed him to be able to be so eccentric off the court, as this final mix will allow everyone to remember.
Congratulations on making it to the Hall of Fame, Mr. Rodman.