19 Outrageous Dennis Rodman Stories: ESPN’s The Final Dance

19 Outrageous Dennis Rodman Stories

After ESPN’s The Final Dance spent its first two installments specializing in the Bulls’ Holy Trinity of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson, Sunday night time’s episodes put the workforce’s trickster demigod Dennis Rodman in his favourite place.

Because the documentary reminds us, Rodman was a singular character within the Jordan-era NBA, an unheralded participant who did the dirtiest jobs on the Dangerous Boy Pistons, then reinvented himself as a hair-dyeing, ref-abusing, dress-wearing cartoon. He was the league’s most controversial star, however The Final Dance makes the purpose that Rodman was forward of his time, not simply within the tattoos and the piercings, but in addition in his willpower to be precisely who he wished to be. To the Bulls’ credit score, they bought it. “Dennis was weird, however what made it work was Phil and Michael’s understanding that, to make it work on the court docket, you needed to give him some rope,” former teammate Steve Kerr recollects on the finish of episode three. “They usually gave him a number of rope.”

The Final Dance covers a lot of Rodman’s most well-known moments: his relationships with Madonna and Carmen Electra, his penchant for cross-dressing, his impromptu mid-season journeys to Vegas. However Rodman being Rodman, there are nonetheless a lot extra that didn’t make it in. So for those who’re in want, here’s a assortment of bizarre, great, and surprising Dennis Rodman tales, with a particular emphasis on the headlines that you could be not have learn earlier thanone other means of claiming we assume you already learn about the North Korea thing.

1. He was a late bloomer.
The documentary contains point out of Rodman’s background, however it’s value going over in full. A sub-six-foot excessive schooler who grew up in poverty, he went unrecruited by school applications, and after commencement labored a sequence of strange jobs, most notably as a janitor at Dallas-Fort Price airport, the place he was fired for stealing watches on a dare. Then, he bought a giant break: A late development spurt shot him as much as six toes, eight inches. After spending a 12 months at junior school, Rodman lastly bought a scholarship to Southeastern Oklahoma State, a Division II faculty. When he was chosen by the Pistons within the second spherical of the 1986 draft, he was already 25 years previous. (It took him some time to hit different milestones, too: In his memoir, Rodman wrote that he misplaced his virginity to a intercourse employee on the age of 20.)

2. He started cross-dressing as a toddler.
Dennis Rodman’s taking part in with gender efficiency raised loads of eyebrows within the ‘90s, however as he wrote in his memoir Bad As I Wanna Be, it was one thing he’d additionally executed as a younger boy rising up in a largely feminine surroundings. “I don’t bear in mind the primary time I made a decision to do it as an grownup,” he wrote. “It was extra of a gradual factor, the place it progressed from earrings and fingernails to halter tops and tight leather-based shorts.” For Rodman, carrying ladies’s clothes was about self-expression: “Once I cross-dress now, it’s simply one other means I can present all the edges of Dennis Rodman. I’m supplying you with the entire bundle. I’m turning into the all-purpose particular person.”

3. Early in his NBA profession, he would drive into downtown Detroit and hand $100 payments to the homeless.
“There are lots of people on the market which might be extra worthy of this cash,” he instructed the New York Times in 1990. “You’ll be able to’t assist everyone, however you possibly can assist some individuals. I make hundreds of thousands now. What’s $250?”

4. He as soon as took off his footwear and browse {a magazine} on the bench.
By the tip of his time in Detroit, Dennis Rodman was so mentally checked out, Michael Wilbon wrote after one game, that he appeared “like he was sitting on the lido deck of a cruise ship ready for the cabin steward to ship a gin and juice … As God is my witness, Dennis Rodman was studying {a magazine}. In the course of the recreation! Like he was at B. Dalton’s.”

5. His breakdown on the Pistons stadium kick-started his reinvention.
The Final Dance offers briefly with a 1993 incident the place Rodman confirmed up on the Palace of Auburn Hills with a rifle in his automobile, having fallen into despair over a failed marriage and the departure of his beloved coach Chuck Daly. As he wrote in his e-book, fairly than hurt himself, Rodman determined that night time to totally remake his life: “I killed the Dennis Rodman that had tried to adapt to what everyone wished him to be.”

6. He credit legendary sideline reporter Craig Sager for saving his life.
Each males verify {that a} despondent Rodman was as soon as talked out of suicide by Sager, who’d tracked him right down to a strip membership to offer him a heart-to-heart. (It’s unclear whether or not this was the identical night time Dennis  Rodman wound up on the enviornment.) “He was going to do it,” Sager instructed Sports Illustrated. “I instructed him how silly that will be.” After Sager’s dying in 2016, Rodman thanked him on Twitter “for saving my life once I was in dire want of assist.”

7. He was as soon as late to a stadium opening as a result of he was dyeing his hair.
Rodman’s new lease on life was symbolized by his experiments with eye-popping hairstyles. His first try got here the identical day because the opening of San Antonio’s Alamodome, the place Rodman arrived 30 minutes not on time sporting a platinum-blonde look. “The rattling bleach job took too lengthy,” he recalled.

8. In a three-week span in late 1993, Rodman had three separate games through which he grabbed over 24 rebounds and scored zero factors.
Episode three of The Final Dance features a cracking sequence the place Rodman explains his knack for grabbing errant balls. By no means was his “relentless, kamikaze, no-holds-barred pursuit of missed shotsextra obvious than in his first season with the San Antonio Spurs, the place an early-season run noticed Rodman mix an ultra-hot stretch on the boards with completely no scoring in any respect. (In these three video games he solely tried seven pictures complete.) His masterpiece got here in a recreation towards the Hornets on December 1, the place he put up a 0-28-Three statline — probably the most rebounds ever for a participant who didn’t rating.

9. He as soon as headbutted the Spurs’ mascot, the Coyote, throughout a preseason recreation.
“I convey pleasure to the sport,” he said afterwards. “Typically I get tired of basketball, like I do know some followers do. And so I do issues to make it extra fascinating for me, and for them.”

10. His finest pal within the league was a preppy glue-guy out of UCLA.
By his eight years within the NBA, Jack Haley was largely an end-of-rotation large man. Within the phrases of Bulls beat author Sam Smith, “He had a set shot and couldn’t actually bounce, didn’t see the ground that effectively, deal with the ball and even take his sweats off successfully.” (And that was in his obituary!) However Haley caught round within the league partly as a result of he had one indispensable ability: He was, because the Times put it, “the one one who speaks fluent Rodman.” The 2 males first performed collectively in San Antonio, and bonded after Rodman invited Haley and his spouse to a double-date at a homosexual bar, the place Haley impressed together with his unflappability. They bought so shut that, after buying and selling for Rodman, the Bulls introduced Haley alongside too to ease his transition. He solely appeared in a single recreation within the championship 1996 season, however proved his worth within the Finals by convincing Rodman to not give up on the workforce earlier than the pivotal Sport 6 — allegedly by telling him there’d be a enjoyable afterparty.

19 Outrageous Dennis Rodman Stories

11. Considered one of his finest associates, post-NBA, was the movie director Penny Marshall.
The pair grew to become friends due to Marshall’s frequent courtside presence at NBA video games, and would spend Thanksgiving collectively. On the time of her 2018 dying, Marshall was engaged on a documentary about Rodman, which had been within the works since 2012. “I feel she noticed a bit of of herself in Dennis — she’d been via troublesome occasions, too,” Marshall’s son-in-law instructed THR.

12. He was as soon as fined $50,000 for saying impolite issues about Mormons.
The identical night time as Michael Jordan’s iconic “flu recreationtowards the Utah Jazz, Rodman was hit with the largest player fine in NBA history for complaining in regards to the “fucking Mormons” within the stands, which violated the league’s coverage towards hate speech. ”If I knew it was a religious-type deal, I by no means would have stated it,” he stated later.

13. He skipped apply in the course of the Finals to attend knowledgeable wrestling occasion.
The Final Dance highlights Rodman’s behavior of letting off steam by heading off to Vegas at any time when he felt prefer it. However in the course of the 1998 Finals, Rodman went on a unique type of tripblowing off a mandatory film session to appear alongside Hulk Hogan at a WCW occasion in Michigan.

14. He crashed a Pearl Jam live performance and stayed onstage for 45 minutes.
A longtime Pearl Jam fan, Rodman in 1998 lept onstage in the course of the band’s Dallas tour cease, and remained there, drunk and shirtless, for the majority of their set. After making an attempt to carry out backing vocals on “Courduroy” and “Alive,” Dennis Rodman lastly left as soon as the band reduce off his mike.

15. Whereas taking part in for the Mavericks, he lived with proprietor Mark Cuban.
Rodman’s last run within the NBA was a month-long stint with the Dallas Mavericks in 2000. Relying on who you ask, he was signed both for his rebounding skill or to assist with ticket gross sales, however both means, Cuban was so looking forward to Rodman’s arrival that he let the participant keep in his visitor home. Dennis Rodman was released after 12 video games, and some insults thrown Cuban’s means — “He doesn’t should be hanging across the gamers like he’s a coach or one thing” — however there have been no onerous emotions. Cuban credit Rodman with educating him easy methods to appeal to media consideration.

16. His retirement routine: strip membership all night time, early-morning Starbucks run, an Equinox session, then sleeping for days.
A 2013 Broward New Times profile painted a miserable portrait of Rodman’s alcohol-fueled post-playing life. “We go to, like, 5 locations and that’s it,” Rodman’s girlfriend instructed the paper.

17. He as soon as did a radio interview whereas receiving oral intercourse.
The juiciest tidbit in Dangerous As I Wanna Be was an anecdote about Rodman refusing to go down on Madonna, however with regards to his personal pleasure, he has fewer boundaries: In 2013, Rodman referred to as right into a sports activities radio station to debate the Miami Warmth’s workforce chemistry, just for listeners to find he was engaged in a rarely attempted form of multi-tasking.

18. He was fired from Movie star Apprentice for misspelling Melania Trump’s title.
Three years earlier than the Slovenian mannequin grew to become First Girl, Rodman was kicked off the long-running actuality present when his workforce spelled her name “Milania” on a poster for her skin-care line.

19. He has damaged his penis 3 times.
As memorably described in this video.

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