Dennis Rodman once revealed that David Robinson had called him ‘the devil’ when on the San Antonio Spurs together.
it is absolutely no surprise whatsoever that Dennis Rodman did not gel well with David Robinson. Robinson didn’t earn the nickname of ‘The Admiral’ through his on-court dominance. He did so by serving two years of active civil duty for the United States while also serving as a Navy reserve for 6 years.
With his years in the military, David Robinson built up quite the stellar reputation as a guy who wasn’t into any funny business. He was not flamboyant, played the game the right way, showed the utmost respect towards his colleagues and coaches, and essentially, clocked in and out of work with no hiccups in between.
This was the complete opposite of what Dennis Rodman was like. He had everything from the flair to the desire for eccentricity all bundled up into a 6’7 tattooed man whose late night escapades are as mythologized as Wilt Chamberlain himself.
Whether it was a new color of hair or him marrying himself, Rodman’s teammates never knew what ‘The Worm’ was going to do next.
Dennis Rodman reveals David Robinson called him ‘the devil’
Aside from the obvious differences in lifestyle and overall demeanor, the San Antonio Spurs had quite the frontcourt duo with Dennis Rodman and David Robinson at the helm. While Rodman was snagging his usual rebounding titles, Robinson was winning MVPs (well one in ‘95). The Spurs were primed for a Finals run.
Of course, this wouldn’t happen as Hakeem Olajuwon and his Rockets immediately took advantage of the power vacuum left with Michael Jordan’s absence, winning two Finals in a row. David Robinson would lose in the WCF in 1995 and that mark the end of the ‘Dennis in San Antonio’ era.
Led by a mild-mannered and yet strict coach and GM in Gregg Popovich, the Spurs were not suited well for a guy like Dennis Rodman. He describes a moment between him and Robinson where the latter would call him ‘the devil’, in regards to his eccentric lifestyle [ at the 4:30 mark]
Rodman would be traded that summer to the Chicago Bulls for Will Perdue, a man averaging less than 5 points, and the rest is history.
The Spurs wouldn’t exactly regret this decision as guys like Robinson and Sean Elliot would feel more comfortable not having him around. Besides, ‘The Admiral’ won two championships post-Rodman.