Back in the late 90’s Dennis Rodman lived with his girlfriend/wife Carmen Electra in the same Newport Beach neighborhood I was renting a house in. At the time Rodman would roll around town in his “Hummer” and yeah I did bump into The Worm and Electra a couple of times. Let’s just say they were always very cool.
Now if you watched ESPN’s The Last Dance episode 3 and 4 you got to see and hear all about Rodman the basketball player, and Rodman the person.
Rodman, the player was on the most unique and dominant defenders in the history of the NBA. In 1998 he averaged 15 rebounds a game and during his 14 year NBA career he averaged over 15 boards a game in 6 seasons. It’s safe to say that his play was often overshadowed by his off the court antics.
To say that Rodman is a complicated person is a bit of an understatement which is why Phil Jackson was the perfect coach for Rodman. Jackson, who also walks around the world listening to his own drumbeat was able to connect with Rodman in a way that made Rodman a better player and gave him the freedom to be himself.
Jackson, who pulled in Michael Jordan during the 1998 season to discuss Rodmans desire to take an in-season vacation to Las Vegas was one of the best moments of ‘The Last Dance.” Jordan who was opposed to the vacation eventually caved and agreed to the 48-hour vacation. It was not in any way surprising that Jackson went to Jordan, not to Jerry Krause for approval.
Rodman’s midseason vacation to Las Vegas with his then-girlfriend Carmen Electra went on for days. The documentary did a great job of piecing together rare footage of the trip to Vegas which included typical drinking scenes, gambling, and hanging with a wide variety of fellow partiers. Eventually, Rodman and Electra made their way back to his Chicago apartment.
The Last Dance director Jason Hehir clarified that Michael Jordan did not fly to Las Vegas to bring back Dennis Rodman from his brief vacation during the 1997–98 season. Hehir joined ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby Aftershow to explain how the story may have been misconstrued after Episodes 3 and 4.
“He got him out of his apartment,” Hehir said. “He lived across the street from the United Center. He got back. His vacation—part of it happened in Vegas of course. He got back and still felt that he was going to do a staycation for a little bit in Chicago so that’s when Michael said, ‘Alright, I’m going to walk across the street.’ It was literally across the street. So he went with the athletic trainer. They banged on his door. (Laughs) Michael, I think he said off-camera, he garbed him by his nose ring and took him out. But yeah, that actually happened. I wish that we were better at identifying to people that Michael didn’t get on a plane and go to Vegas to get him but he did grab him out of bed. Supposedly, Dennis had a flophouse apartment. There’s no furniture. It was just like a couch and a mattress in one room and a TV.”
Carmen Electra told a story about Jordan coming to pick up Rodman from his apartment.
“There was a knock on the door,” Electra said. “It’s Michael Jordan, and I hid. I didn’t want him to see me like that. So I’m just hiding behind the couch with covers over me and he was like, ‘Come on, we got to get to practice.'”
Look, Rodman was and is a complicated character, still, he was the best rebounder and defender I’ve ever watched play basketball. He truly dominated the defense side of the ball which is one of the reasons the Bulls were able to win 3 titles with The Worm.
During Rodman’s playing career – his off the court behavior was legendary and entertaining at the same time. Sure many people didn’t agree with his choices, but he always owned up to his choices which a lot more than you can say about The Detriot Pistons Isaiah Thomas.