mobile app bar

When Bulls HC Diagnosed Dennis Rodman With ADHD Owing to His ‘Enchantment With Las Vegas’

Sourav Bose

When Bulls HC Diagnosed Dennis Rodman With ADHD Owing to His 'Enchantment With Las Vegas'

The eccentric on-and-off nature of Dennis Rodman turned several eyes onto him in the 1990s. His uncustomary antics against the NBA opposition and frequent visits to Las Vegas, even during the regular season, kept him in the headlines. While several considered his way of living as unorthodox, Phil Jackson believed that it resulted from ADHD.

The former head coach of the Chicago Bulls detailed his thoughts in his 2013 memoir, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success. The 78-year-old initially applauded Rodman’s drive to succeed during his inaugural campaign with the franchise in 1995. At that time, the 5x champion was a man on a mission, with immense control over his emotions.

However, in the subsequent seasons, the scenario began to change drastically. Rodman seemingly lost interest in the game, leading him to explore other sources of entertainment. This reshuffling in his order of priorities made him different in the eyes of outsiders. Yet, contrary to popular beliefs, Jackson revealed the following as the root cause for this change:

“In my amateur opinion, Dennis was suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, a condition that limited his ability to concentrate and caused him to get frustrated and act out in unpredictable ways”.

In 2016, Jackson even doubled down on his take on Rodman while highlighting his knowledge of psychology. Although there was no direct evidence to prove this, the 11x champion head coach believed in his diagnosis wholeheartedly. After all, he derived the conclusion from coaching ‘The Worm’ for nearly four seasons, modifying his management tactics several times during this phase.

How did Phil Jackson manage Dennis Rodman?

The layers within Rodman’s character made it difficult for Jackson to stick to one style of management. Consequently, the Montana-born had to adapt to the circumstances before eventually mastering it. In his memoir, the former Bulls coach detailed his way of dealing with the forward, mentioning the following:

“He [Rodman] went through periods of high anxiety that lasted forty-eight hours or more, and the pressure would build inside of him until he had to release it. During those times, his agent would often ask me to give Dennis the weekend off…they would go to Vegas and party for a couple of days. Dennis would be a wreck by the end of it, but then he’d come back and work out until he got his life back together”.

This storyline remained a prevalent one during Rodman’s time with the Bulls. However, every time after returning to the team, the player would put everything on the line to ensure a victory. This eventually secured the second three-peat for the franchise, while turning Rodman into an instrumental figure in the success.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Sourav Bose

Sourav Bose


Sourav, a seasoned NBA journalist at the SportsRush, discovered his profound love for basketball through the brilliance of Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors. With over 600 articles in his career, he has established himself as a dedicated and prolific writer in the field. Influenced by 'The Last Dance' documentary and the anime 'Slam Dunk,' Sourav's passion for basketball is marked by insightful observations and a comprehensive understanding of the sport's history. Beyond his role as a journalist, he delves into the strategic dimensions of sports management and explores literature in his spare time, reflecting a well-rounded approach to his craft. Sourav's journey is characterized by a commitment to unraveling the intricacies of basketball and sports in general, making him a reliable source for NBA enthusiasts and a seasoned observer of the sports landscape.

Read more from Sourav Bose

Share this article