After about two minutes into the second night of ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” it was very clear who was going to be the star of the night.
The Dennis Rodman Episode had arrived, and it was as glorious as anyone could reasonably hope. The third piece of the Chicago Bulls’ most immortal teams was a complex, hair-dying, partying, borderline masochistic marvel of a player and human being. There definitely isn’t a player like him today, which made his portrayal so compelling for a modern audience.
When an episode starts off with a guy casually stating he wants to break his nose on the court, buckle up.
Dennis Rodman wasn’t just tough — he was a basketball savant
When you are 6-foot-7 and not particularly bulky, it takes a lot to lead the NBA in rebounding rate an incredible eight years in a row. It takes toughness. It takes athleticism. Most of all in Rodman’s case, it takes basketball IQ. It takes the ability to see a basketball drifting to the rim and innately knowing where you need to be on the floor.
Few — if any — players have ever had that knowledge more than Rodman. That wasn’t an accident.
Dennis Rodman would ask friends to go to the gym to get shots up at 3 or 4 am. For him, it was so Rodman could perfect his rebounding by improving positioning, study the ball's spin & read angles so he could analyze where ball would bounce off the rim.— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 27, 2020
Has any player in the history of basketball been able to reel details like this off the top of their head? Rodman’s rebounding breakdown was exceptional television.
Rodman made rebounding an art... if you couldn’t appreciate that rip of him explaining how he perfected his craft I got nothing for you. #TheLastDance— Cassidy Hubbarth (@CassidyHubbarth) April 27, 2020
Dennis Rodman breaking down his rebounding technique was awesome. Players could learn a lot from watching and listening to him. Rodman had an elite blend of athleticism, anticipation, awareness and attitude.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 27, 2020
I would pay a monthly subscription for a Dennis Rodman DETAIL series on rebounding angles and party planning.— myles brown (@mdotbrown) April 27, 2020
The Bad Boys are just as tough as you remember
Before Dennis Rodman was an all-time Bulls great, he was an all-time Bulls nemesis.
The depiction of the “Bad Boys” Pistons was among the most anticipated portions of the documentary between Rodman and their role in Jordan’s story as the team that pushed him into becoming the great we know today.
As the calendar hit 1989, the remembrances of the Pistons began. Toughness. Defense. Attitude. Rodman had a starring role.
"when you come to Detroit, you're going to get your ass whooped."— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 27, 2020
print the shirts.
The entire city of Detroit just stood up from their couches and whooped— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) April 27, 2020
I like how the the doc skips over the Pistons absolute annihilation of the Bulls in '88 😂— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) April 27, 2020
The Bad Boy Pistons would be banned from the NBA in 2020.— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) April 27, 2020
1988 Jordan was MVP and DPOY. But let people tell it, he wasn’t in his prime when the Pistons beat him in 88…89…and 90— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) April 27, 2020
The birth of Dennis Rodman’s hair
When it comes to most casual basketball fans, the defining feature of Dennis Rodman is his hair and all the colors and patterns that come with it. Even that had an origin story in this episode, and involved Madonna and the 1993 movie “Demolition Man,” starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes.
"Rodman goes to San Antonio and changes his hair color, then Madonna goes 'he's cute' and they started seeing each other" pic.twitter.com/WHXaiYoPsZ— Lifelong TOMpa Bay Buccaneers fan (@FTBeard1) April 27, 2020
That also led to a stunning revelation about a certain hair pattern that we frankly all just thought was leopard print.
Raise your hand if you just learned these were 33s in Rodman's hair in tribute to Scottie Pippen 🙋♀️🙋 pic.twitter.com/rmiqOtRVUw— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 27, 2020
Dennis Rodman: load management pioneer
“The Last Dance” delivered another classic moment as the crew handed phones to Rodman, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson that played a video of Jordan recounting a certain meeting in the 1997-98 season.
Dennis Rodman. 48 hours. Las Vegas. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
As incredible as it was to hear the concept in the context of the meeting, more than a few load management jokes came out.
Say what you want Dennis Rodman invented load management 😂😂😂😂😂— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) April 27, 2020
Rodman!!!!— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorld37) April 27, 2020
Dennis Rodman: DNP (Vegas)— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 27, 2020
to this day the single-greatest load management finesse of all-time.
A vacation in the middle of the season???? That’s insane!!! 😱😱😱— Festus Ezeli (@festus) April 27, 2020
Frankly an instantaneous 48 hour vegas vacation leave should be the right of every American worker thank you labor rights pioneer Dennis Rodman— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) April 27, 2020
You can’t end the Rodman episode better than footage of him taking an in-season vacation to Las Vegas, downing a Miller Lite in the parking lot, and pulling off on a motorcycle with fans screaming at him. That’s ART— Kenny Ackermann (@MrColeWorld) April 27, 2020
‘The Hangover’ prequel, starring Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan and Carmen Electra
As it turned out, a lot could go wrong. Like Rodman not returning on time has spent his time in Vegas partying with Carmen Electra.
So Jordan went to Vegas and fetched him, and yeah, we might have the makings of a movie here.
"Did he come back on time"— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) April 27, 2020
MJ: [shakes head] "nope."
if you ever question how good Rodman was at basketball just remember he had MICHAEL JORDAN running around Las Vegas looking for him like a scene from The Hangover.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 27, 2020
Why Dennis Rodman should have been in The Hangover instead of Mike Tyson: In this essay I will— jeremy taché (@jeremytache) April 27, 2020
this prequel for The Hangover looks lit— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) April 27, 2020
Naturally, the documentary managed to get Electra on camera talking about the day that Jordan found their hotel room. Again, just exceptional television.
Carmen Electra: "There's a knock on the door, it's Michael Jordan, so I hid. I. just went behind the couch."— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 27, 2020
(this might be my favorite visual of this entire documentary so far)
“I hid!” OH MY GOD— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 27, 2020
Carmen Electra on Dennis Rodman: "It was definitely an occupational hazard to be Dennis' girlfriend."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 27, 2020
Michael Jordan barged in to drag Dennis Rodman out of a hotel room with Carmen Electra. We don’t give the 90s for being crazy as hell.#TheLastDance— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) April 27, 2020
When the Bulls welcomed Dennis Rodman back to practice, Phil Jackson chided Dennis and encouraged him to make sure he was getting his exercise. MJ: "His body made it here, Phil. Don't beg for too much."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 27, 2020
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