All of this debate surrounding Dennis Rodman being part of this year’s NBA Hall of Fame class has me thinking.
Is the general public opposed to the oddball yet fantastic athlete being enshrined into his specific sport’s Hall of Fame?
Dennis Rodman was undoubtedly a great basketball player. He’s got five NBA Championships under his colorful belt, two Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and rebounding title after rebounding title lamintated in the NBA history books. His odd and aggressive behavior on an off the court, however, puts somewhat of an asterix by his career numbers as do his legal issues. Is he really worthy of standing alongside Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Wooden, and James Naismith in Springfield, MA? As long as he wears pants, he is.
Rodman was not the best player on his team when he was with the Pistons, Spurs, and Bulls, yet those teams were very successful while he was on the roster. He influenced their games and the sport in general by allowing fans to see what an art form rebounding can be.
How does this relate to football? Well, two member of this year’s Hall of Fame class are a couple of the most outspoken men that have ever graced the NFL field. Our very own Shannon Sharpe was elected as the seventh member of this year’s class, and Deion Sanders will also be enshrined in Canton.
These two men have hit every mark in terms of football success and they’ve also got the motor mouth to make coaches, teammates, and fans alike wonder just how they actually focused on the task at hand. They were the best gabbers in the business, and weren’t afraid to knock another team down or put themselves up on a pedestal.
”Mr. President, call in the National Guard! We need as many men as you can spare! Because we are killing the Patriots! We’ll call the dogs off! Send the National Guard please!” – Shannon Sharpe during a game against the New England Patriots.
“ I just think I can make plays, … You know that, everybody knows that. I think fans want to see that . . . I gave everyone a commercial last year. I want to give them a movie.” – Deion Sanders to the media.
With these three unusual yet talented athletes being enshrined into their sport’s Hall of Fame, we’re in for some real interesting and emotional speeches this year. Rodman, Sharpe, and Sanders all had emotional careers, and they’re not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeve.
As fans, we should appreciate their efforts to advance their respective sports and teams. Despite some legal issues and zany behavior, they deserve to be inducted just as much as the next superstar player.
Rodman, Sharpe, and Sanders used the bricks thrown at them to lay a foundation for success. They did it in their own way. Without these guys in the Hall, a giant cake would missing its frosting.
It would also be missing the hot air needed to blow out the candles.
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