Michael Jordan will be remembered as the greatest basketball player to ever step on the court, Scottie Pippen will go down as the ultimate wing man and Dennis Rodman's claim to fame is that he had the worst character of any player to ever play in the NBA.
You either love or hate Rodman. If he didn't play for a team you were a fan of, odds are you hate him. His antics gave the NBA a PR black eye and he was unabashedly hateful towards everyone and everything when he played.
Even after he left the league, his countless arrests and troubles do noting but reinforce the bad boy persona he created during his playing days. His appearances on shows like the Celebrity Apprentice do nothing but add to the negative reception he receives.
The more we get to know about Rodman, the less the general public likes him. It's unfair to suggest that it's the tattoos or the piercings that are such a turnoff. I think most people are accepting enough to embrace a likable person with an edgy exterior.
That being said, Rodman isn't likable, not in the slightest. If someone as clean cut as Derek Fisher acted in the manner Rodman did, he would get the same notorious rep.
To say that he's just being being himself is a load of...fecal matter. That's a cop out. If he's just being himself he needs to be locked away in an institution somewhere. In society, people have to behave a certain way. Can you imagine if you acted the way he did on the court at your job?
This also has nothing to do with him being a character. Even Ron Artest, who was the catalyst behind the worst incident in basketball history at the "Malice at the Palace", has appealed to the better nature of many. He loves the spotlight, he's had a rocky past, but he's still fairly well received.
Chad Ochocinco is an athlete who has a very extroverted personality, but it's clear that he has good intentions. He's having fun and constantly gives back to the community and fans. Some people hate him, but he's certainly not malicious.
The same can't be said for Rodman. He's done nothing to show us that he has changed at all since he retired. He's never made a wholehearted attempt at mending his image and the public. He was known as a bad guy when he played and has done nothing to show that he has taken the steps necessary to change his life.
Even if he underwent a series of drastic changes and spent the rest of his life trying to fix his image, the damage has been done. We'll always view him as the NBA's bad boy, and it's hard to believe that he cares.