Dennis Rodman was as much of a maverick as they come, but Michael Jordan knew how to deal with his eccentric Bulls teammate.
Threepeats are a thing in sports because Michael Jordan and his Bulls made them a thing. The early 90s were a time when basketball transformed into a truly globally watched and followed sport.
The way that Jordan’s Bulls won 3 championships on the bounce from 91 to 93 was inimitable. And yet, they found themselves in that very spot when Jordan came back from his stint in baseball.
Acquiring Dennis Rodman was a must for the Bulls, who were short on frontcourt talent after Horace Grant left. Rodman proved to be the key cog that held the team together during Pippen’s injury period in 97-98.
Many argue that Dennis deserved a Finals MVP trophy for his impact on their series against the Sonics. Now that’s a topic up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is what Dennis Rodman himself stood for.
“Michael Jordan would grab Dennis Rodman by the temples”: Sam Smith
A look at The Last Dance reveals just what the Bulls’ front office had to deal with when ‘The Worm’ came to town. Rodman brought hustle and energy to their roster, but he was also a notoriously difficult person to manage.
Between Pippen and Rodman’s absences with unprofessional behavious, Jordan definitely had to drag his teammates through stretches using unconventional means.
Sam Smith, who wrote The Jordan Rules in the early 90s, reveals the kind of relationship MJ had with Rodman in this interview.
“Jordan would later say when he had to make a point to Rodman he’d grab him by both temples and demand Rodman look him in the eye and then ask him several times if he understood what Jordan was saying and to repeat if he did. Rodman wasn’t stupid. Really, just shy and eventually acting out.”
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