There’s a beauty in Dennis Rodman’s Basketball Hall of Fame speech and if you were like me and had some struggle in the past with your family, his speech may move you deeply as it did for me. Here’s the speech.
You will find the “real” Dennis Rodman beneath his flamboyant and rebellious image.
I was a big fan of Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls in the 90s. In 95, I only missed a few Bulls’ games and pretty much watched all the games that were broadcasted on TV. They had the perfect team backed up by Phil Jackson. That’s when Rodman was brought into the team too and I loved the rebelliousness and aggressiveness of Rodman. He definitely brought some different and colorful elements of entertainment to each games. Even though, Michael Jordan was my idol back then, I wanted to emulate rebelliousness and the style of Dennis Rodman.
But despite of this “bad boy” and “rebellious” image, most people do not know the “real” Dennis Rodman. An emotional kid who went through childhood struggles, heartbreak, pain, and loneliness. A man who is honest, simple, true and insightful enough to recognize his own shortcomings and mistakes, and humble enough to apologize for it and also humble enough to truly appreciate and thank everyone that supported and helped him through his life.
It really hit home with me when I heard this speech and I thought there were a lot to think about and learn from his words.
Despite of his colorful fashion and style and his ways of displaying himself to the public, he lets the public know that it’s all just an illusion and it’s not all that he is.
I think it’s admirable that he is able to recognize his true self and distinguish himself from his ego when most celebrities and famous people are often caught up with their false sense of identities after they had achieved success and fame.
He tells the public that he never really played for fame nor for the money.
If you know his background, then I think you may agree that there’s more complexity between his relationship with him and the sport. I believe basketball was the way for him to express his inner complexity and his emotion.
He was always an outsider growing up. He was very emotional, awkward, and felt left out. His two sisters were considered more talented in basketball and his mother paid more attention to his sisters. Dennis Rodman was often made fun of for his lack of talents in basketball and other athletic activities. He was also very short for basketball being only 5’6”.
Then he had a sudden growth spurt and tried playing basketball again. Despite of his new height growth which is ideal for playing basketball, he felt more awkward and uncomfortable with his own body for being tall all of sudden.
He hadn’t really had a close friend until he met another kid who was a loner like himself. His friend’s family even adopted Rodman later on, and that’s the first time he felt like he was accepted as a family and felt like he was a part of something.
He went through a lot of emotional struggles and hardships in the past.
His family was very poor and he was raised by his mother who hadn’t paid much attention to him growing up. He was eventually kicked out of his house by his mother.
As I have mentioned above, he always felt socially awkward, and he was an outsider.
He was laughed at for being horrible at basketball and other athletic activities.
His dad left him when he was little and later on took advantage of Rodman’s fame and got rich off of him by writing a book about him. However, his dad never bothered to even come and say “hi” to Rodman.
But as he says during his speech that despite of all these hardships, he persevered.
His humbleness…and honesty…
He apologizes and appreciates his wife for putting up a lot. He says he is very sorry for not being a good husband and for not being a good father.
If there’s one regret, he wished he was there for his kids more and not let his wife raised them mostly by herself.
He confesses how much he resented his mother for being distant and cold to him. And at moments, he resented her so much that he was careless on what he could do to his mother. Therefore, even after his success, he didn’t bother to help her out as much and was very aloof. But as he grew up, he became more understanding and now he apologizes for not being a great son.
For the remainder of his years, he wishes that he can hopefully be a better husband and a better father to their kids.
After hearing his speech and learning more about his past, I found there were so many things that I could relate to him…. Being an emotional individual, having a lot of resentment stemming from childhood, being an outsider, growing up without a stable family, and so on.
But what caught me the most attention was his willingness to wanting to become a better father and trying to understand his mother beyond his resentment towards her and apologizing to her for being aloof.
What are your thoughts on this??