Tonight’s episodes of The Last Dance will bring Dennis Rodman to the forefront as the documentary introduces the most unique individual from those Bulls teams by looking into his time as their greatest rival with the Detroit Pistons before joining Chicago for the second three-peat.
By the time Rodman arrived in Chicago, he had quite the reputation on and off the court. He was the best rebounder in the world and an elite defender, but he also was one of the NBA’s biggest partiers. Rodman had a special affinity for Las Vegas, where he would skip off to whenever he could to enjoy some long nights of drinking and partying. In this week’s episodes, Michael Jordan will tell the story of Rodman requesting a midseason Vegas vacation after Scottie Pippen returns.
However, as former Bulls center Joe Kleine explained on Sirius XM radio, Rodman jetting off to Vegas was a constant concern of the Bulls, to the point that they never had actual off days in order to keep him from going to Vegas and coming back too hungover and out of shape to function. Kleine explained that they would always have what he called “the most BS film session for 30 minutes,” and that he was finally told by Steve Kerr and others that it was simply to force Rodman to be in town.
Ahead of Episodes 3 and 4 of #TheLastDance former Arkansas and Bulls center @SlaterMoJoe joined @ChrisDoering and @PeterBurnsESPN to reveal what it was like to play with The Worm during the '97-'98 season. pic.twitter.com/tcYRkiDDFm
— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) April 26, 2020
It’s a pretty incredible story and sets the stage well for what we’ll see in Sunday night’s episodes about Rodman, Phil Jackson, and how the two had an interesting bond as Jackson was the rare coach that understood Rodman and knew how to work with him rather than try to make him fit in. While he was willing to give Rodman his January vacation after Pippen came back, he also ensured that didn’t happen when they needed Dennis around by working in team film sessions to keep him nearby.