A buddy of mine named Josh -- who asked that I use just his last name due to his embarrassment about this story -- was walking across the street in front of Archie's bar one day when a gigantic, tattooed man called out to him. It was Dennis Rodman, and the former NBA star said, "Hey, man, hold on."
Josh stopped and approached. Rodman extended his hand and then grasped Josh's hand in both of his.
"Don't freak out on me man, OK?" Madonna's former beau asked. "Don't freak out -- I love you."
Rodman stared at Josh for a minute. A long minute. Josh finally replied, "Thank you, Dennis."
"Man, it's those colors you're wearing. I love that combination."
"Thanks, Dennis. Have a nice day."
Josh pulled his hand out of Rodman's grasp, and "The Worm" replied, "You too."
Truth is, run-ins with Rodman aren't uncommon around here. If you've spent considerable time in bars or restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, chances are you've shared a drink with Rodman, watched him get on stage with the house band, or generally just had him say something bizarre to you.
But now we have to wonder if the days of Rodman's everywhere persona could be over. In
April, he finally made it into the NBA Hall of Fame. His duties as a corporate shill have recently brought him up to higher brands. And this past weekend, a headline in the New York Times declared that Rodman is "Already Back on 'A' List."
This is a man, we have to remember, who once removed his shoes in a playoff game and refused to go back in. He married Carmen Electra while drunk off his ass, only to have it erased ten days later. His wild behavior on Celebrity Apprentice led to an intervention with NBA coach Phil Jackson.
And all that made it even odder while he showed up in Fort Lauderdale, frequenting Big City on Las Olas and Ocean Manor on the beach. But now the Times says Rodman is back to big-time celebrity and plans to send invites for his August 12 Hall of Fame induction ceremony to Jay Leno, Penny Marshall, Steven Tyler, and Hulk Hogan. "I'm not going to go up there and be a dictator or a congressman," he told the Times. "I'm just going to go up there and say what's on my mind. I might even color my hair again."
It'd be a shame if we lose the sightings like I had one night at Big City, when Rodman walked past the bar and smiled big at me, or maybe my wife, and said in a high-pitched voice, "Hiiiii, honey!" His hands were propped up at angles, and I believe he was standing on his toes. My wife and I still debate which one of us he was hitting on.
Either way, hopefully his A-list status doesn't mean he'll get too big for our small city.