Michael Jordan sang Dennis Rodman’s praise while simultaneously calling out Miami Heat center, Alonzo Mourning, for being weak in the mind.
As outlined by the ‘Last Dance’ docuseries, Michael Jordan did not have an issue with being labelled as a tyrant or dictator. As extreme as this sounds, it isn’t far off from how Jordan carried himself on and off the court when dealing with his teammates. One crucial aspect of being considered this is the fact that he was headstrong.
Nothing really shook Michael Jordan, especially after the four year duel he endured with Dennis Rodman and the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons in the late 80s and early 90s. The Chicago Bulls consisted of players that tried to emulate MJ’s mentality towards the game and, of course, could not replicate it, but were of a similar mindset at the very least.
Snagging Dennis Rodman set a powerful tone for the now-veteran Bulls going into the latter half of the 1990s. Though there was drama between Rodman and Scottie Pippen, amongst other Bulls players, it eventually led to Michael Jordan holding ‘Rodzilla’ in high regard.
Michael Jordan criticized Alonzo Mourning for being ‘weak in the mind’.
As the kids say nowadays, “Dennis Rodman was a different breed.” This essentially translates to Rodman being cut from a different cloth, Michael Jordan noticed this while also appreciating what he brought to the table. In an interview in 1998, Jordan talked about Dennis and compared him to someone like Alonzo Mourning.
“Of course, out guy Dennis can be irritating. He used to guard me when he was in Detroit and I didn’t let him get to me. I didn’t get irritated by any of the Pistons because that was their tactic; to get in your head. Dennis gets into Alonzo Mourning’s head now. Alonzo’s weak in the mind. Alonzo is an intimidator but sometimes, the intimidator can be intimidated.”
Alonzo was no scrub by any means as the 1996-97 Miami Heat squad, record-wise, is the second greatest team in franchise history. They won 61 games but would eventually fall in 5 games in the ECF to Michael Jordan and his Bulls as they went on to claim a 5th championship. This came a year after being eliminated in 1996 by the 72-10 Bulls.