Bad As I Wanna Be was the title of Dennis Rodman’s 1996 autobiography. A fitting caption for arguably the craziest, most talented rebounder the NBA has ever seen. Dennis the Menace was a distinctive individual on and off the court. His craziness wasn’t just relegated to the dyed hair, the piercings, the cross-dressing, the Madonna dating, the Carmen Electra marrying or the copious amounts of partying he purportedly participated in both during and after a Hall-of-Fame NBA career.
No, Dennis is that unique flavor who defies description or category. A true renaissance man of zany who actually contains multitudes. Does he contradict himself? All the time, but Whitman would have loved Dennis Rodman, and the NBA world would be a lot more dreary and monotonous if he never blossomed before our eyes on Detroit’s Auburn Hills court, then added his traveling carnival act to the second three-peat of Michael Jordan’s reign.
Here’s a look at just some of the wild things he’s been a part of, both on and off the court…
He brought a shotgun to a Pistons practice.
In February of 1993, Dennis Rodman showed up to the Detroit Pistons practice facility at the Palace of Auburn Hills with a shotgun. In his autobiography, The Worm said, “I killed the Dennis Rodman that had tried to conform to what everybody wanted him to be.”
It’s a sad story, and one that’s entirely complete. Rumors swirled at the time that Rodman learned of a teammate sleeping with his wife, which ultimately led to the meltdown. The rumors, of course, were never confirmed, but Rodman was shipped out of town eight months later.
He sang “Happy Birthday” to one of the world’s most ruthless dictators.
Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un, together at last, together as two.
In eight years, the cops were called more than 70 times to his Newport Beach home.
In 1996, Dennis Rodman purchased a house in Newport Beach, Calif. for $825,000. For the next eight years, Rodman threw party after party, often driving through the neighborhood with a “Humvee painted with naked women.” Police were called to the house at least 70 times to break up parties, fights and to issue noise violations.
But things weren’t all that bad, as one neighbor told the L.A. Times:
Divorce drama aside, neighbors near Rodman’s beachfront home are divided over his departure. Some say they’ll relish the expected peace and quiet, while others say they’ll miss the distinctive flair of his neighborliness.
Robert Marsh, 44, remembers preparing for a party and hanging tiki torches when Rodman, who didn’t know him, stopped his Suburban, pulled out a case of beer, threw it into his yard and said, “Have a cool party, bro.”
“I’m kind of going to miss him,” Marsh said.
He delivered a nonsensical rant on CNN.
This faux defense of Kim Jong-un was weird, even by Dennis Rodman standards. At the time, Kenneth Bae was being held in a North Korean prison as a spy.
“The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand… if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” Rodman said. “Do you understand what he did? In this country?”
“What did he do?” Cuomo said. “You tell me.”
“You tell me,” Rodman said. “You tell me. Why is he held captive?”
Rodman later apologized and said he’d been drinking.
He headbutted a ref.
In March of 1996, Rodman was suspended six games and lost $203,926 for this incident. At the time, the Chicago media wondered if a battery charge would follow (it didn’t).
Nobody is arguing that Rodman was provoked, so he probably doesn’t have much of a defense. That, however, doesn’t rule out a legal fight.
“Does he have a case?” Turow said. “It depends what’s in the head, so to speak.
“In Rodman’s case, you could say that the referee assumed the risk. If he didn’t want to get butted in the head, he shouldn’t have ejected Rodman. I’m sure that is what Rodman thought.”
If there was a criminal prosecution, Rodman likely would face a battery charge. Simple battery in Illinois carries a sentence of up to one year in jail or a $1,000 fine, while aggravated battery is punishable by two-to-five years in prison.
He married himself.
In a lame attempt to promote his autobiography, Bad As I Wanna Be, Rodman claimed he was bisexual, wore a wedding dress and said he was “marrying himself.”
When he kicked a cameraman in the nuts…
… It was arguably the most expensive nut shot of all-time. Rodman paid the cameraman, Eugene Amos, $200,000 to avoid a civil suit.
He “accidentally” broadcast an orgy.
A 2010 pool party in the Hamptons quickly devolved when Rodman, who was hooked up to a cordless mic, went to a hotel room with six women. The New York Post had the details:
A source told us, “Rodman had quite a lot to drink and had been making shout-outs on the mike. He headed up to his room with six girls. Then, the next thing you could hear through the speakers downstairs was Rodman describing in full sexual detail what he wanted to do to them. Organizers pulled the plug before it got any dirtier.”
When he flew cross-country to impregnate Madonna.
Rodman and Madonna briefly dated in 1996. The “relationship” didn’t last long but it was hot and heavy to the poing where Madonna wanted to make babies with him. One time, Rodman flew all the way from Las Vegas to New York just because the Material Girl was ovulating.
Via Daily Mail:
“Here’s how far it went. One time I was in Las Vegas at the craps table doing my thing when I got this frantic call. It was like the ‘somebody died call’ from New York.
“I picked up the phone and Madonna was like, ‘I’m ovulating, I’m ovulating. Get your ass up here’. So I left my chips on the table, flew five hours to New York and did my thing.”
Standing on her head
“We got done and she was standing on her head in an attempt to promote conception -just like any girl trying to get pregnant. I flew back to Las Vegas and picked up my game where I left off.”
That’s probably the most Dennis Rodman story ever.
The time he married Carmen Electra in the wee hours of the morning in Las Vegas.
In 1998, Dennis Rodman dated Baywatch babe Carmen Electra. In her own words, she saw a quality in him others didn’t. “”What I saw in the beginning was this gentle giant that was in a lot of pain.” After a particularly trying time in her life and after the death of her mother, Electra flew with Rodman to Vegas to get married. The wedding occurred at 7AM in the Little Chapel of the Flowers. Nine days later, Rodman filled for an annulment saying he was “drunk” and of “unsound mind.”
And to think, a marriage to one of the biggest stars in the world at the time was the most boring thing Rodman’s ever done.
He was truly overlooked as a basketball Svengali
Everybody talks about the rebounds, and they were certainly plentiful, but Rodman was one of the all-time great defenders in an era with a lot of them; he led the league in rebounding for seven consecutive seasons (from 1992-98), and was No. 2 the year before that streak started. But again, he won DPOY in 1990 and 1991 as a 6’7, 210-pound power forward who routinely guarded centers. We all marvel at Draymond Green’s ability to mark Marc Gasol in the post right now, but that’s what Dennis did for Detroit and later Chicago and San Antonio on a regular basis. It’s truly incredible, but his off-the-court headlines always overshadowed what a revelation he was on the court.
Rodman finished 10th in voting for the MVP in 1992 despite averaging less than 10 points (9.8) in over 40 minutes of action a night. That’s freakin’ incredible.
His ability to psych out opponents is the progenitor to our current Lance Stevenson meme culture. If Rodman had been playing in today’s NBA, he’d be Tony Allen on Twitter, he’d have Kawhi Leonard’s claws, Draymond Green’s bluster and Shaq’s goofy Inside the NBA nonsense. Contemporary America couldn’t handle all the Dennis Rodman we’d see on our computer screens, and we could barely handle him before the Internet age.
God bless The Worm.