Rodmans reconcileBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
AFTER completely ignoring his father for 42 years, NBA legend Dennis Rodman finally softened up and reconciled with Philander Rodman Jr. during his recent visit to Manila.
A military man, Philander is now based in Olongapo City with his Filipino wife and their children, who are all grown up. Phil was stationed at Clark Air Base before he moved to Olongapo with his family.
The first time Dennis came to Manila in 2006 to play an exhibition game, Phil tried to reach out to him. He was then still residing in Clark. Dennis snubbed Phil.
Apparently, Dennis had not forgiven his father for abandoning him and his mother decades ago when he was still a small boy.
* * *
I suppose it was AKTV, television coveror of the NBA Legends All-Star challenge, that came up with the idea to invite Philander to watch the game at Mall of Asia.
I suppose it was also their plan to reunite the father and son.
“At first Phil Jr. was hesitant to travel all the way to Manila again and attempt to meet his son. He already made an attempt six years ago when The Worm was here,” related AKTV’s Paul Mata.
“But News 5 assured Phil that Dennis agreed to meet him. Actually it was the News 5 team who brought Phil to Manila. Mall of Asia Arena set aside tickets for the elder Rodman when it learned that he was coming.”
* * *
Phil was filled with anxiety as he waited for Dennis to come out of the dugout. Even as he chatted with US Ambassador Harry Thomas, the elder Rodman’s mind was on Dennis.
Finally, Dennis came out of the locker room. He attended to his Filipino fans first, obliging them with autographs and photographs.
“Dennis then acknowledged his father by tapping his chest. They shook and held hands while exchanging greetings. Phil’s anxious and worried face was replaced by a big smile,” Paul said. “Phil gave his contact number to the assistant of Dennis. Dennis was then whisked away by his close-in security.”
The meeting took all of 2 minutes, according to Paul. “Phil was jubilant and ecstatic that he finally reconciled with his son.
* * *
During the last timeout of the game called by the NBA Legends and with only 16 seconds remaining before the final buzzer, Scottie Pippen took the floor and thanked the crowd.
Paul said Dennis surprised everyone when he took the mic.
“I haven’t seen my father in 42 years But that’s him sitting right there,” the younger Rodman said as he pointed to Phil, who was seated at courtside.
Phil must have been so happy that night. After all, he got to see his son Dennis before his eyesight faded.
Phil is suffering from glaucoma and has a cataract in his eye.
* * *
HOOPVINE: Guess who’s coming to Manila? Wrestler Rey Mysterio of Mexico, that’s who. Rey will be here to promote World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is scheduled to make a personal appearance at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Game 3 of the PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-7 title series… If football has brothers Phil and James Younghusband, and the London Olympics has Derek Ramsey, AKTV has chosen Smart Gilas’ Chris Tiu to be its basketball ambassador. Chris is scheduled to start taping a series of instructional segments on the sport… I won’t be surprised if mixed martial arts like the PXC becomes more popular than boxing, given a little more time… Last weekend, despite the heavy downpour and the threat of floods, MMA fans came to the Ynares to watch PXC 31, among them Barako Bull’s Danny Seigle and Jondan Salvador. I had not seen the Ynares that filled even during an international boxing competition… Is it true that a benevolent businessman-sportsman shouldered the hospital bills of the late comedian Dolphy? The bills ran up to millions, since Dolphy was confined in ICU for 7 to 8 months.
More from this Column:
- Cebuana ready to take the leap?
- What goodwill? Visiting Sharks far from friendly
- Pacquiao-Rios a slam-bang fight
- Guerrero no big deal for Mayweather
- Regen, Cagayan get new coaches