Dennis Rodman was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night, and his speech didn’t disappoint even if it wasn’t what we were expecting. Rodman showed up in one outfit, with a feather in his hat, then changed into another for his speech, including a jacket emblazoned with both “Pistons” and “Bulls” on it (didn’t see a Spurs mention there). He had multiple piercings in his face. But once he took the stage, a different Rodman showed up. No brash arrogance. No outrageous behavior. Just a world of emotion and gratitude from a man that came from struggle and played the game with ferocity, while living his life his way, for better or worse.
The Hall isn’t for recognizing personal greatness, it’s about professional greatness. But there was something deeply endearing about Rodman’s heartfelt discussion of his failures as a son, a husband, and father. And in the context of his career, two years after Michael Jordan’s audacious and borderline petty speech, in the midst of a depressing lockout, Rodman’s gratitude for the opportunity to play a game he loves and the influence of people like Phil Jackson and Chuck Daly rings true. Here’s video. Cheers to the Worm.