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NBA - Leopard Spots - Dennis Rodman Canvas Art by IKONICK
Dennis Rodman couldn't change the way he was. And why would he want to? His undeniable originality was as mesmerizing on the court as it was off it.
Rodman's personality was nothing the NBA had ever seen before. No one knew what to think about this unique character drafted onto the "Bad Boys" Pistons. But he came onto the scene and began making a name for himself right away.
From a shy 5'7" kid from the projects playing pickup games in Texas to a 6'8" athlete dropped into the wolves of the NBA, his transformation was in a word: Drastic. For him, basketball was just an escape from a troubled childhood. To go from that to playing under the lights of the NBA required some adjusting.
But a leopard can't change its spots, and Rodman was still the same shy kid. So what did he do with all the new attention? He leaned into it: Tattoos, piercings, dyed hair, women's clothes. If the critics were going to talk about him, he'd give them something to talk about.
He was still the same leopard. Just camouflaged.
On the court Rodman was a defensive wall, sacrificing his body and giving everything to win. Off the court he perplexed the media with his wild lifestyle and deliberately shocking appearance.
In both cases, Rodman was fueled by passion. You have to take the good with the bad—the seven consecutive defensive titles with the head-butts and cameraman groin-kicks. But that was just Rodman. Those were just the leopard's spots.
From a homeless kid with a growth spurt to his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Dennis Rodman never changed his spots. He remained authentic, playing with an intensity born from desperation. He didn't learn to play basketball to make money or to become famous; he played because it was all he had.
That passion defined his entire career. He might have switched up his look from time to time, but the leopard never changed. The man that stood on the stage, emotionally accepting his Hall of Fame induction was the same lost boy who found acceptance in basketball.
Despite Rodman's introvertedness he had the confidence to live and play his own way. Even in the face of critics who condemned his persona on and off the court, he never conformed. He showed future generations that it is okay to embrace who you are—spots and all.
"Leopard" from the officially licensed NBA Legends canvas art collection is a piece of reassurance. Let it instill Rodman's level of confidence in you. A leopard can't change its spots, but it's still a feared predator. Know who you are and live true to yourself. The rest can deal with it.