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Nick Nurse Reveals How Dennis Rodman Losing on $250,000 Opportunity Led to Revival of Basketball Career in Britain

Rishabh Bhatnagar

Nick Nurse Reveals How Dennis Rodman Losing on $250,000 Opportunity Led to Revival of Basketball Career in Britain

Dennis Rodman has had a budding career in reality TV after his retirement from basketball, which included a temporary feature on the $250,000 Celebrity Big Brother UK Season 4. At that time, Philadelphia 76ers coach Nick Nurse was coaching the Brighton Bears in the British Basketball League(BBL). Rodman, having amassed great notoriety in the UK following his stint on the reality show, became a sought-after prospect for Nurse’s team and the BBL. Recently, during his appearance on The Pat Bev Podcast, Nurse revealed how he personally managed to convince Rodman to come and play for the team.

Rodman ended up playing three matches for the Brighton Bears in their final season in the league. Rodman, known for his bold choices right from the start of his NBA career, attracted huge crowds and lots of media attention when he played for Nurse’s team.

Nick Nurse convinced Dennis Rodman to play in the BBL

Dennis Rodman has always been quite the celebrity. During his stint in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls superstar was always the center of media attention for his bizarre antics off the court. Rodman’s outlandish habits ensured his celebrity even after retiring from basketball.

Nurse revealed that he and his colleagues had already decided that they would approach Rodman once he was voted out of the reality TV show. After Dennis the Menace’s exit, Nurse called the team sponsor, who was immediately willing to work towards signing Rodman. Here’s Nurse’s account of the incident on the Pat Bev Pod:

“He[Rodman] was on ‘Celebrity Big Brother U.K’. He’s in this house with 20 other people, these other celebrities, and everybody’s watching this. And they’re voting him out, voting him in…whatever… And he’s become this household name in England. So, literally, we get a call one day, and the guy, he says, ‘See if Rodman will come play once he gets voted off the house.'”

“And then, it was just like, we said, ‘OK, I just called the owner or the sponsor of the team.’ He said, ‘Yeah, man, let’s do it.’ So, he made it all the way down to the last three or four in the house. And he got voted off and he came down and it was wild, man. We had like completely sold out, over 150 press credentials.”

At the age of 45, Rodman not only played three games amidst a lot of attention, he also broke the rebounding record in his second game. The Chicago Bulls legend produced 23 rebounds in his 2nd game and helped bring unprecedented attention to the Brighton Bears.

The media frenzy around him attracted a lot of people to the games. Rodman’s presence made the games more interesting and almost revived basketball in the UK.

Rodman broke the rebounding record in the BBL at the age of 45

According to Basketball Network, Dennis Rodman broke the BBL rebounding record. He showed up 20 minutes late for the first game, and was stunned to see the attention that he got.

Rodman revealed that he was sorry for not putting up a good show in the first game, and promised to do better the next time around. He had scored only 4 points in his first match. His three games in the league had little effect, considering it was the Bears’ final season, However, he finished with 5 points, 16 rebounds, and 1 assist at the age of 45 during the short stint, according to ProBallers.

About the author

Rishabh Bhatnagar

Rishabh Bhatnagar


Rishabh Bhatnagar is a Senior NBA Writer at The SportsRush. A lifelong NBA fan, Rishabh has been working as an NBA journalist since 2017. Before joining The SportsRush, he covered the NBA for another popular media platform. Rishabh is a bona fide NBA Historian specializing in uncovering stories from the league's past. He also likes covering trade rumors and player contracts. Rishabh has written almost 800 articles for The SportsRush and is always on the lookout for intriguing NBA stories. He is also a published novelist and an ardent Lakers fan.

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