The Detroit Pistons announced Friday that Dennis Rodman will have his number retired by the team, a fitting tribute to a player who absolutely dominated both the rebounding glass and defensive end from 1986-1993. Rodman was an integral part of two Pistons championships in 1989 and '90, and there's no doubt that this honor will go a long way toward setting up a more mainstream validation of D-Rod's career.
Rodman will be the first to tell you, through various books of his over the years, that he's been on a decades-long search for acceptance.
From his father who was never around. From his community in Dallas, where he didn't stick out. To his time playing hoops at tiny colleges, when the larger ones ignored his growth spurt and recruited elsewhere. To a plucky do-it-all guy in Detroit. As an underpaid former champion, looking for a niche and a contract representative of his abilities. And even as this game's all-time greatest rebounder -- and easily its most versatile defender -- Dennis has long been denied that acceptance in the usual NBA arenas (so to speak), because he went about searching for it in his own unorthodox manner. Usually showy, often tacky, not always a true representation of who he was, but always inimitable.
This, though, is great news. On Friday, local radio station WCSX was the first to break the news that the Pistons are retiring Dennis Rodman's No. 10:
Best, the celebration comes on the night Rodman's former Pistons take on his former Chicago Bulls outfit. Bestest? It comes on April Fool's Day. Quite fitting for a player and person one-time coach Phil Jackson once lovingly described (using Lakota tribe language) as "the backwards walker."
I wish they wouldn't bury it on a Friday afternoon, but this is a breakthrough, and a very cool honor tossed at a person who should have earned it long ago. You can think what you want about Dennis' trade from Detroit in 1993, or his current status as a bit of a desperate Ed Hardy spokesman, but you can't deny the fact that Rodman earned this designation several times over.
The news keeps getting better for the Pistons.
"Negotiations are over. There is a deal. It's for The Palace, the entertainment business, for the team. It's subject to the approval of the NBA," an anonymous source told Bill Shea.
For the little we know about Gores, he could turn out to be the owner who turns the team's fortunes (literally) around, or he could turn out to make Daniel Snyder look like someone who knows what he's doing. At this point, there's no way of telling, though we clearly hope for the best.
And this is great news for a franchise, front office and community that has been in limbo with the Pistons since the passing of longtime owner William Davidson two years ago.
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