NBA players find sources of inspiration in different places or people. For NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman, one of his inspirations, when he was playing, was going to gay clubs. He shared why he thinks highly of drag queens in a revealing story by GQ.
Rodman frequented gay clubs when he was in San Antonio
Drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1986 for the 27th pick in the second round, Rodman became an integral part of the Bad Boys era with Bill Laimbeer, Isiah Thomas, and Rick Mahorn. The Bad Boys played tough and were seen as dirty players by fans, but they won two titles together to shut the critics up.
When coach Chuck Daly left the team in 1993, Dennis admitted it brought him down as he considered Daly a father figure. Things did not go as smoothly for him as he hoped when Rodman joined the San Antonio Spurs from 1993 to 1995. However, he found an unlikely source of joy during the lowest moments of his career in gay clubs.
“I started going to drag clubs. I started bringing drag queens to games. When you talk to people in the gay community, someone who does drag, something like that, they’re so fucking happy. They hold their head up so high every fucking day, man. They’re not ashamed of shit. They’re not trying to prove anything, they’re just out there living their lives.”
The 7-time rebounding title winner of the NBA added that it brought him back to his childhood years, considered happy memories. Fortunately, Dennis recovered from the low moment of his career with the help of friends from the gay community.
Rodman dressed as a drag queen
The Bad Boy played a basketball game while dressed as a drag queen in 2014. Among all the NBA players, past or present, he might be the only one who could pull this off without getting bashed or canceled by fans. If it happened now, the 5-time NBA champion would have been called out for using the gay community for clout. For the record, Dennis might be the first player to break the stigma for cross-dressing athletes.
Players are humans at the end of the day, and they should be free to pursue or follow things that could bring peace of mind. For Rodman, his Las Vegas adventures served as one of his escapes from the pressures of basketball. Giannis Antetokounmpo attended a Harry Styles concert and admitted he thought he was the only guy there watching. Michael Jordan turned to golf to get his mind away from basketball. If players need some time away to learn a new hobby or interest, they should do it without fear of being canceled. They are under a lot of pressure inside and outside the court, so fans need to give them the freedom to be themselves as much as possible.