Dennis Rodman was told by David Stern that if he got any more tattoos, he’d be kicked out the NBA; Rodman got another one that night.
Dennis Rodman was one of the most interesting players the NBA has ever seen. His flair for the dramatic caught the eyes of millions across the United States and the world, leading to many teams straying away from him. His antics irked the San Antonio Spurs and despite his All-NBA level play in 1994 and ‘95, traded him for Will Perdue.
Rodman did everything from marry himself during a book signing to travel to Las Vegas during an active regular season to party with a plethora of celebrities. The rebounding legend felt as though he needed to keep himself occupied at all times and indulging in these ‘extracurriculars’ was the best way to do so.
Phil Jackson had to ask his superstars, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, if they were alright with Dennis Rodman coming on board the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 1995. They would eventually say yes but not before Pippen received an apology from Rodman for his ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons days.
Dennis Rodman got tattoos the night David Stern told him not to.
David Stern knew exactly what was marketable and what wasn’t. He was the NBA’s Commissioner during the league’s global expansion and had Michael Jordan at the helm of it all. However, having Dennis Rodman in the NBA was a tricky thing.
‘The Worm’ was certainly unpredictable and having a guy like that would be dangerous for the league’s brand. The one thing Stern was not fond of was Rodman’s tattoos and most likely his piercings as well. Dennis was sort of a pioneer in that sense as no one really had tattoos all across their body when playing professional sports.
Now, guys like Ja Morant enter the league straight out of college with chest and arm pieces. Either way, that was not the norm back in the 90s, almost 30 years ago. So, according to Rodman, Stern called him into his office in New York to talk about it. In classic Dennis Rodman fashion, he didn’t play by the rules.
“I was doing tattoos before anybody thought about doing tattoos. I was going to David Stern’s office in New York. He said, ‘If you do any more tattoos, I’m going to kick you out.’ I went and got a tattoo that night and then I just kept getting tattoos.”[at 6;33 minute mark]