Philander Rodman Jr., who has acknowledged fathering 29 children by 16 mothers, says he was happy and surprised that his son agreed to meet him late Wednesday. He tried to meet the basketball Hall of Famer during another game in Manila in 2006.
Philander, who has been living in the Philippines for nearly 50 years, said Thursday he wanted to explain to his son that he didn't abandon his family in the United States, but they only had time for greetings and handshakes.
That's correct. Twenty-nine children by 16 mothers. So, without any visual evidence to support it, you can at least assume that Dennis (who clearly, and we're not making some dry joke, suffers from incredible shyness and social anxiety) kept his sunglasses on and the discussion was brief. Dennis has a hard time talking to former teammates he once won championships with, so the father that left his house when he was 3 probably isn't the easiest to gab with.
Here's Dennis' take on his father, from his 1996 memoir "Bad As I Want To Be," with some cursing removed: "I never really knew my father, Philander Rodman. He was in the Air Force in New Jersey, where I was born, and when I was three we packed up and came back to Dallas where my mother is from. We did this when my father stopped coming home.
My father isn't part of my life. I haven't seen him in more than thirty years, so what is there to miss? I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn't mean I have a father; I don't. I could say, 'This is my father. This is my dad,' but that doesn't sound right to me. I grew up with my mother and two younger sisters, Debra and Kim. There wasn't a male role model in my life until I got to college and started getting my together."