“Sorry for what?”: Dennis Rodman was Forced to Apologize to Scottie Pippen Before Joining Michael Jordan and the Bulls 

Jeet Pukhrambam
|Published December 01, 2022

Dennis Rodman might have the meanest exterior one that does not seem penetrable by a stare or words. He seems cold and taut. If you look at any of his paparazzi pictures from the 1990s, you will see that he looks mean. But he isn’t. Dennis is soft and nice. He just liked to be an oddball. An eccentric NBA player. The most eccentric if you think about it.

On the court, Rodman was a hard player. Tough as nails. He would go to war and duke it out with the best. Nobody liked Dennis on the court. His tenacity combined with his temper would often result in explosive outbursts between teams.

He liked to get under the skin of his opponents and as a result, nobody had good things to say about him. Rodman, however, was the opposite. Despite his antics, he never bad-mouthed anyone. And when he was coerced to apologize, he didn’t bat an eyelid.

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Dennis Rodman once shoved Scottie Pippen in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals

Before we get to the main story, let’s rewind the tapes a little. Back in 1991, during game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Detroit Pistons squared off against the Chicago Bulls. Rodman was still a “bad boy”, literally and figuratively. And during a play, he pushed Scottie Pippen so hard, he got a flagrant foul called on him.

The foul was inconsequential, the Bulls would go on to sweep the Pistons and establish a decade-long dominance. But for Scottie and the Bulls, it was more about their egos.

So, when the time came to recruit Dennis Rodman, the Bulls harbored some unrequited resentment. And there was only one way to resolve it.

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Rodman was coerced to apologize before going on the legendary “3-peat”!

Scottie and the Bulls held the grudge for over 4 years, forcing Rodman to apologize when they met. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Dennis Rodman, where he told the tale of his signing.

I went to Jerry Krause’s house and Jerry Krause, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, me, his wife, three dogs, cat, Phil Jackson. We had a meeting at Jerry Krause’s house, all of us there, and we all sat like in a triangle. You know, we didn’t talk to each other at all, we all just met on business. And Phil came up to me and said, Dennis, you know, before we put you on the team could you do me a favor?’ I’m like, ‘What is that Phil?’ He said, ‘Could you go and tell Scottie you’re sorry?”

Of course, The Bulls coach had to ask that question. And Dennis was extremely nonchalant about it. He continued, “I’m like, ‘Sorry for what?’ He said, ‘You know, that series you guys had in ’91.’ I said, ‘You want me to go say sorry for that?’ He said, ‘Would you just go do it?’

Normally, anyone would have taken offense but Dennis, as we alluded to earlier is actually a nice guy. He adds, “I said alright. I went over to Scottie (and)I said, ‘Scottie, sorry about that, man, you know, pushing you out of bounds.’ Scottie said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s OK, it’s OK, we just want to win a championship.”

The rest you know is history. Dennis Rodman is a 5x NBA champ and he is still one of the most fascinating personalities to have emerged from the NBA.

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About the author

Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam is The SportsRush's Lead Editor for Basketball. After freelancing for five years as an independent writer, Jeet created thousands of blog posts and articles. He now covers intriguing news reports and throwback stories on all things NBA. His interest in NBA started with the ascendancy of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2016-17 season. Since then, Jeet has managed to coalesce his knowledge of the game and his writing to create pieces that are reflective of the current state of the league. Now, he ensures that The SportsRush produces the highest quality of writing. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, cooking, traveling, and dancing to techno. Jeet takes pride in his critical thinking, music playlists, and his love for spaghetti.

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