It’ 2015 and people are willing to pay $99 for a picture with Dennis Rodman, an NBA legend who hasn’t played in the league in 15 years. Getting people to fork over large sums of money to say that they met you is part of the ever-lasting benefit of being a former athlete, but when you’re still tabloid fodder and an occasional reality TV star, I imagine the price climbs a little. According to the ELO Fan Ratings, Rodman is the 71st best player in NBA history. Shawn Kemp is ranked at 70. I can’t find a date on this, but at some point in the last few years, a Shawn Kemp photo-op went for $39. I guess The Reign Man needs to get his ass on a plane to North Korea.
Rodman hasn’t been for a visit with his good friend Kim Jong-un in awhile, but he’s been keeping busy. Right now, he’s in Australia for a show where he’ll take pictures with fans and sign autographs. Because celebrities are people who need to run the occasional errand, though, Rodman stopped into a convenience store in Melbourne before his scheduled appearance. And because celebrities are both easily recognizable (especially Rodman), the the clerk asked if he could take a picture with Rodman. Something that the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and former Jean Claude Van Damme co-star allegedly agreed to through his manager, for a cost.
Rodman’s tour manager/minder intervened and said Rodman would be happy to — but only if Mr Chaudhary covered the cost of the Berocca.
“I thought he was joking at first … but when they finished up and came to the register, the man asked me again if I was going to pay,” Mr Chaudhary said.
“So I decided to do it, out of my own salary. That’s the price of a picture, I guess.
“I told my boss about it and he offered to pay for the Berocca on my behalf but I refused. It was my decision.”
The Berocca cost $31.90, less than 1/3 the cost of an official Rodman picture. When Chaudhary was told that, he admitted that he might have gotten a deal, but does that mean that Rodman shouldn’t get some flack for monetizing a random moment? I’m not really sure.
On one hand, it’s Rodman’s business and people probably come up to him all everyday asking for, essentially, a freebie. But on the other hand, it’s not like Chaudhary chucked his plans to go pay $99 for a photo op at Rodman’s show because he got a picture with him earlier in the day. This all sparks a semi-interesting question, though: would celebrities be able to walk around in public without constantly getting pestered if they started charging for every interaction? And by consequence of that, would we all be less inundated by people’s celeb-sighting-selfies on Instagram and Facebook if this happened? Dennis Rodman was once a Piston, a Spur, a Bull, a Maverick, and a Laker, but maybe now he’s a trailblazer.
(Source: Adelaide Now)