Early LifeDennis Keith Rodman was born on May 13, 1961 in Trenton, New Jersey. Rodman was the product of an unstable household. Early in his life, his father, Philander, abandoned his wife, Shirley and his young family, which included Dennis and his two young sisters.
After Philander left, Rodman's mother moved the family to Dallas where she struggled to keep her children fed and clothed by taking almost any odd job that came her way.
Curiously, Rodman didn't at first appear to be all that athletic or outward going. He was short for most of high school, just 5-6, and was cut from his high school football team and later quit the basketball team because he wasn't getting enough playing time.
After graduating high school in 1979, Rodman's future appeared uncertain. He found work where he could, including a janitor position at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. In his off-time, though, he could be found at local basketball courts, where the now 6-7 player, was a force.
Through a family friend, Rodman's exploits soon caught the attention of the coaches at Cooke County Junior College in Gainesville, Texas, who offered Rodman the chance to attend the school. He accepted and to nobody's surprise, proved to be a dominant player for the program.
But Rodman couldn't keep up with the schoolwork and after a year, flunked out. Still, his play hadn't gone unnoticed, and he was soon invited to enroll at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
Rodman's on-the-court tenacity overwhelmed opponents, and during his three years at the school he averaged close to 26 points and 16 rebounds per game. In the 1986 NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons made the gangly but overly athletic 25-year-old Rodman a second round pick.
NBA SuccessThe marriage between the Pistons and Dennis Rodman was, for a number of years, a great one. Rodman's arrival helped usher in a new era in Pistons basketball. Led by head coach, Chuck Daly, whom Rodman came to adore, and point guard Isiah Thomas, Detroit became one of the elite teams in the NBA. The club won the championship in 1989 and again in 1990.
Rodman was a big reason why. A fierce defender and tenacious rebounder, Rodman was selected to the 1990 NBA All-Star team and tapped as defensive player of the year that same season. In 1992 he won the first of seven consecutive rebounding crowns.
In 1993, following the retirement of Daly, Rodman's relationship with the Pistons organization soured and he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. Prior to the 1995-96 season, Rodman was traded again, this time to the Chicago Bulls, where he'd go on to team up with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen to win three consecutive NBA titles.