Dennis Rodman opens up about time with Bulls in run-up to documentary release


Who is Dennis Rodman? That is the question at the heart of the 30 for 30 documentary “Rodman: For Better or Worse” which will premiere on ESPN Tuesday, September 10 at 8 p.m. CT.

The film will trace Rodman’s life back to humble beginnings growing up in Dallas, through his journeyman career in the NBA — which, notably, featured an extended, accolade-rich run with the Chicago Bulls — and delve into his struggles with addiction and fame. The prevailing theme, though, is sure to be Rodman’s unbridled expressiveness and perpetual grappling with identity, on and off the court. 

Here is the trailer for the documentary, which was released by ESPN back in August:

In the run-up to the film’s debut, Rodman conducted a wide-ranging interview with Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin. In it, the Hall-of-Fame forward discussed how his relationship with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen has endured since their time playing together during the golden era of Bulls basketball.

“[We] have so much love for each other now because we're not haters with each other,” Rodman told Bleacher Report. “We embrace the fact that we had a chance to play with each other. We're friends. We're not calling each other every day and hanging out, but when we see each other, we share the love.”

Years after winning two consecutive titles with the Bad Boy Pistons in the late 1980’s, Rodman linked up with Jordan and Pippen in 1995 and helped the Bulls rattle off their second three-peat in eight years from 1996-1998. He was the unquestioned third banana of what some would argue is the greatest Big Three in NBA history.

“[We] revolutionized the game. The way everyone plays now, that's how we played then. And now all of a sudden everyone's talking about Big Threes. Now? Really? We were the Big Three,” Rodman said. “We were the main three. We consistently won, we consistently won championships.”

Rodman also made headlines by saying in passing that the Bulls’ dynastic run ended because of a financial dispute between MJ and Bulls’ management: “[T]he only reason we didn't repeat four in a row is because Mike said, ‘I want X millions of dollars.’ And they didn't want to pay him, so he left, I left, Scottie left and Phil Jackson left… That's how the run ended.”

Regardless of your thoughts on Rodman’s off-court exploits and commentary, his basketball resume (five-time champion, two-time DPOY, seven-time consecutive rebound champion) and cultural impact are undeniable. The film should be a compelling watch.

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