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Dennis Rodman Said ‘I Don’t Give A Damn’ When Phil Jackson Asked If He Wanted To Play For Him


Joe Buck has a new talk show called “Undeniable With Joe Buck” that airs on the Audience Network, a channel that’s only available to DirecTV subscribers. That was the first thing you were going to ask when you watched these Dennis Rodman clips, so we thought it was important to get that out of the way.

Rodman talked about the first time he met Bulls coach Phil Jackson after a trade from the San Antonio Spurs in 1995, and it appears his carefree attitude was just what a coach that was into zen wanted (not to mention all the rebounds).

“Phil asked me, ‘Dennis, do you want to play for me?’ The first thing I said: ‘I don’t give a damn.’ That was the first thing that came out of my mouth. He said, ‘OK, great. You’re a Bull now.’ That’s how we came together as a team. He’s a good guy. Phil was just a free spirit. We would just lay down and do the zen thing. He’d bring people in, his boys and stuff, and we’d sit there and lay down and get our minds right. Be free and stuff like that.”

The Bulls won 72 games and an NBA title in Rodman’s first season, when the was 34 years old.

How did the trade from the Spurs happen? It was because Gregg Popovich, who was general manager and not yet the coach, dealt him away. Rodman was a rebounding force for the Spurs but his off-court issues became too much for Popovich to handle, according to Rodman.

“The city embraced me, but Popovich hated me. He hated my guts because I wasn’t a bible guy. They looked at me like I was the devil. Then I started acted out again. They don’t want me here. But I’m saying, am I the same guy that helped David Robinson get a scoring title and MVP? Am I the same guy that averaged 19.3 rebounds a game for you? Am I the same guy that helped you win 68 games? But you guys don’t like me? So trade me. So of course, he traded me to the damn Bulls.”

It was actually 17.3 rebounds per game, but yeah, you were that same guy. But you were also the guy who missed a quarter of the season because of a suspension and leave of absence. So, maybe the trade made sense despite all the rebounds.

And in the end, the Bulls won titles and the Spurs won titles. That fact, as Joe Buck might say, is …

… Undeniable.

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