There was not enough Dennis Rodman in “The Last Dance.”
The 10-part documentary chronicling Michael Jordan’s run with the Chicago Bulls concluded on Sunday and featured one last glimpse at the enigmatic Hall of Fame forward.
It was pure Rodman. The final episode introduced viewers too young to remember to a 1990s controversy that would have exploded in the Twitter era.
Rodman’s wrasslin’ interlude
Rodman skipped practice without notice in the middle of the 1998 NBA Finals to join Hulk Hogan on WCW Monday Nitro.
Dennis Rodman would miss practice to appear on WCW Nitro! 😲
Get the story on @dennisrodman's time with WCW on @WWENetwork!#WWEUntold: Rodzilla Runs Wild streaming anytime on-demand:https://t.co/212pg6NiUO pic.twitter.com/xjEPLYsEu4
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) May 18, 2020
Bulls had his back
The Bulls didn’t really care.
The team fined Rodman, who reportedly got paid $250,000 for the wrestling appearance between Games 3 and 4 of the Finals. Jackson gave him a hard time at practice when he returned.
“He brought fame and dis-reputation on all of us,” cameras caught Jackson saying at Bulls practice ahead of Game 4. “We were dishonored.”
Meanwhile Jackson played the incident down in the press.
“He’s only taking your focus away from the Finals,” Jackson told reporters. “Not ours.”
Then Bulls media relations staffer Tom Smithburg showed “Last Dance” cameras how he snuck Rodman out of the arena after practice so he didn’t have to deal with media.
Rodman went on to pull down 14 rebounds in Game 4 in an 86-82 win over the Utah Jazz to take a 3-1 series lead en route to their sixth championship.
He explained his philosophy during that run to “The Last Dance” while pegging why Jackson was the perfect coach for that Bulls team.
“I wasn’t trying to do anything,” Rodman said of his wrestling interlude. “I was just trying to explain basketball, party, da da da, f--- all the girls. Just be me, Dennis. S---.
“I think Phil realized that I needed to always do me, just go do what I do. ... They’re gonna get 100 percent when I’m on the court.”
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