Dennis Rodman is now a national legend.
But how much of the story of his time with the Atlanta Hawks is told in the current media frenzy?
I asked Nick Friedel, the ESPN senior writer who has written about the NBA for more than two decades.
In a story published Friday on ESPN.com, Friedel lays out a fascinating tale of a young man who became an NBA superstar, but left behind a trail of destruction in the process.
“I think the biggest takeaway from it, and this is the one I wanted to write about, is the idea that Dennis Rodamans career has been built on a lie,” Friedel writes.
“He has been portrayed as the man who left the NBA, and then a player, because he was gay.
The idea that he left because he wasn’t happy, and not for any reason other than because he wanted to play, has been the central story of Rodman’s career.
That was the central theme of the whole story.
He was a victim, and he was never the victim.
The victim is always the one who was victimized.
And the one that he lied to.”
Friedel says Rodman never had any issues with homophobia.
In fact, Rodman once called the league’s official “gay liaison” the best person he’s ever met.
“When I was young, my parents were very supportive of Rodamons homosexuality, but my dad was the one whose heart was in the right place.
He believed that I should not be gay, because that would not be a healthy relationship.
And that’s when he finally realized that I could love another person, and that I was capable of love.
He knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, and it wasn`t going to come easy for him, but it was a matter of time before I realized that he was capable, that I wasn`T just some closeted gay kid, but that I loved him as well. “
But he was also very proud of his gayness, and very proud that he loved me as well as anyone.
And now we`re told the story. “
That story is now one of the greatest sporting legends of all time.
And now we`re told the story.
The NBA is going to change.
“We`re in the middle of a new era in the NBA. “
We have a new head coach in Phil Jackson, and I think the league`s going to continue to evolve, as well, but I think I can`t see it changing for a very long time.” “
We`re in the middle of a new era in the NBA.
We have a new head coach in Phil Jackson, and I think the league`s going to continue to evolve, as well, but I think I can`t see it changing for a very long time.”
In Rodman`s first season with the Hawks, the franchise was one of several that struggled to get off the ground.
He struggled to find his footing and struggled to make any significant strides.
He never was able to match the success of Michael Jordan in the early 1990s, but the Hawks were one of only two teams that were actually successful when he joined the team.
Rodman became the first openly gay player to play in the league, and his teammates nicknamed him “Dennis.”
Rodman averaged 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in the 1990s.
“Dennis` story is the most iconic sports story of our time, and is not just the story about the Hawks.
It is also the story that has been told in so many other places.
And it is still being told, for better and worse, about so many of our athletes and our players, and our fans,” Friedell writes.
Rodan, a six-time All-Star, won three championships with the NBA from 1994 to 2002, and was the NBA`s Most Valuable Player in 2002, when the Hawks beat the Philadelphia 76ers.
In 2001, Rodan joined the Atlanta Dream to play basketball in Atlanta.
“Denny was not the first player to come out in the United States, but he became the most successful one because of it,” Friedeel writes, “because his message to his fellow Americans was so strong.
He told them to be who you really were, and to be proud of who you were.
And then, suddenly, the whole league started to change, and the NBA became a place where anyone could be a player. “
For so long, basketball players were afraid to come publicly.
And then, suddenly, the whole league started to change, and the NBA became a place where anyone could be a player.
The players who came out at that time, who were the ones who had a sense of self-acceptance, the ones with self-confidence, who had confidence that they could achieve things they wanted