Dennis Rodman was the first “Bad Boy” in NBA history. From having several tattoos to dyeing his hair different colors, Rodman looked and acted differently from his fellow NBA stars in the ’80s and ’90s.
One of the best rebounders to ever play the game, Rodman never cared what people thought about him. He thrived on being free and doing things that made him happy and feel like a little kid despite being a grown man.
Because no one had a bevy of tattoos on their body back in the day like Dennis Rodman, the late great David Stern didn’t like what he saw from The Worm, so much so that he threatened to kick Rodman out of the NBA for having too many tattoos.
In typical Rodzilla fashion, though, the rebounding machine used Stern’s threat as a way to get even more ink.
Dennis Rodman will never be forgotten
Dennis Rodman hasn’t played in the NBA since 2000, and he’s still one of the most popular celebrities today. It’s safe to say that no sports fan will ever forget about Rodman’s impact both in sports and culture.
Rodman was the first player in NBA history to get a slew of tattoos on his body and pierce his nose and lips. When he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs from the Detroit Pistons, Rodman began to dye his hair different colors. Spurs legend David Robinson used to call Rodman the devil because he was confused by what Dennis was doing.
Former NBA commissioner David Stern cared deeply about the NBA’s image. So, he didn’t like that Rodman was going against the norm and looking outlandish. Stern used to meet with Rodman on a consistent basis and warned Demolition Man that he could get kicked out of the league if he kept getting more tattoos.
Not only did Dennis Rodman not feel threatened by David Stern’s message, but he purposely got more tattoos after hearing what Stern had to say.
Dennis Rodman was fueled by David Stern
When David Stern told Dennis Rodman that the tattoos had to stop, the five-time champion left the commissioner’s office in New York and immediately got another tattoo. He was fueled by Stern’s memorandum and kept getting more ink.
“When I was doing tattoos before anybody thought about doing tattoos, I was going to David Stern’s office in New York, and he said if you do any more tattoos, I’m gonna kick you out,” Rodman told Kevin Hart in 2019. “I was like, what? So basically, that just fueled the fire right there. I said OK, great, I went and got a tattoo that night, and then I just kept getting tattoos and piercings, kept doing my thing.”
Michael Jordan was the biggest superstar during the ’90s. However, Dennis Rodman was able to escape Jordan’s shadow when they were teammates on the Chicago Bulls due to his exuberant personality and unorthodox style.
Dennis the Menace is arguably the best defender in NBA history
Dennis Rodman was a crazy guy off the court during his playing days. However, let’s not forget how dominant of a defender he was.
Rodman led the NBA in rebounding seven times and won two Defensive Player of the Year Awards with the Pistons.
A two-time All-Star, Dennis Rodman averaged 7.3 points and 13.1 rebounds during his NBA career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.