There are a bunch of folks who believe the Pistons are making a mistake by retiring Dennis Rodman’s number 10 Friday at the Palace. I have no problem with it but I will simply say this. Dennis Rodman was the best defender and rebounder in Pistons history. He was better than Joe Dumars and Ben Wallace. No one was as athletic and strong as Rodman and nobody was as fast. A number of people said that Rodman could have been a world class sprinter with the proper training.
I won’t argue with them. He came out of nowhere to block some of the greats of the game. Once in Madison Square Garden 7-foot center Patrick Ewing got loose from Pistons center Bill Laimbeer and was about to put the Pistons away with a tomahawk dunk. Rodman came from nowhere to block the shot and save the day.
Rick Mahorn and Laimbeer looked at each other and screamed: “Big man!” Few men could do what Rodman did. And few played with as much emotion. I do not guarantee many things in life but here is one thing I can tell you will happen. Rodman will cry at some point during the ceremony. I know he is a big star who tours clubs and many people do not know he played basketball. He’s wore wedding dresses, littered his body with tattoos and is considered one of the bad boys of entertainment.
But deep inside remains the polite, scared kid that took Detroit by store in the 1980s. That kid will show up again Friday, shed a tear and hopefully throw his index finger up into the air one more time at the Palace.