Dennis Rodman, who was known throughout the late 1980s and 1990s as the NBA's bad boy, showed a different side while being inducted into the basketball hall of fame on Friday.
Rodman was one of the most unique superstars to ever grace the hardcourt. The man, who always had dyed hair, once wore a dress and moonlighted as a professional wrestler during the prime of his career, was known more for his off court zaniness than his on court domination. He was an indomitable rebounder and a ferocious defender who-starrred in two championship dynasties: the late 80s Pistons and the 1990s Bulls.
The 6'6, 220 lbs. graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma was tearing up as he made his induction speech at the Naismith Hall of Fame. While some of his unique, flamboyant bad boy persona shown through on this night (he was wearing a boa, cowboy hat and a colorful jacket), it was mostly pushed aside for true emotion.
"I didn't play the game for the money," Rodman said, wiping away tears. He then referred to his famous persona and said, "I didn't play the game to be famous. What you see here is just an illusion, an individual that I love to just be, who is very colorful.
Rodman talked about his tough upbringing and how basketball provided an escape from the projects. He credited his coaches hall-of-famers Phil Jackson and Chuck Daly, Lakers owner Jerry Buss and James Rich, who mentored Rodman at a young age, as his father figures.
He went on to thank Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen, his teammates on the Bulls. Rodman said they were the best two players to ever play the game.
As he wrapped up the speech, Rodman got emotional when talking about his kids and his wife Michelle. He admitted his faults and thanked his wife for sticking by him despite everything he put her through.
"When anyone ever asks do you have any regrets in your career as a basketball player, I always say I have one regret, I wish I was a better father," Rodman said
Rodman thanked his mother Shirley last for tolerating him when he was selfish.
Here's the full speech.