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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 at 2:43 pm  |  72 responses

Dennis Rodman: I Never Had a Conversation With MJ or Pippen in Chicago


Much as we’d like to believe Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman spent hours upon hours being the best of friends off the court while they were busting heads on it during the mid-to-late-90s, it appears that’s far from the truth. Rodman recently sat down with Graham Besinger, and during their conversation, the former power forward spoke of the relationship he had with MJ and Pip. Via PBT: “HESINGER: Your then teammate when you were with the Bulls, Scottie Pippen, was quoted as saying “I’ve never had a conversation with Dennis. I’ve never had a conversation with Dennis in my life, so I don’t think it’s anything new.” Why not speak to your teammates then? RODMAN: Well, I think it was important for me to go in there and win. I don’t have a job to speak to people. My job is to collate and understand how people work and make people believe in the fact that [I] belong there. Talking to people will come. Relating to people will come. If they see you performing and doing your job and being with the group, that’s all I want. Me and Scottie — we’re cool today. We’re a little older, a little wiser. We’re cool today. And me and Scottie never had a conversation. Me and Scottie and Michael never had a conversation in three years in Chicago. Only time we had a conversation was on the court, and that was it.”

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  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    This should surprise absolutely no one.

  • KSupreme22

    Looks like in order for Miami to win…Chris Bosh must stop speaking to Lebron and D-Wade.

  • http://www.twitter.com/xpotatotitsx mersh

    ya i’m definitely not surprised but this seems like one of those things that should stick between the players. i miss the days when everything stayed on the court and in the locker room. too many players and ex-players opening their mouths about interworkings or franchises. shaq is currently the worst at this and needs to keep his old mouth shut. he’s quickly dropping from one of my all time favorites to just another guy that wants to sell books.

  • bike

    I’ll bet Jordan and Pippen had plenty of private conversations about Rodman. Freakin’ wacko.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I can see it too.. I’ve worked with guys for 5+ years, and have never spoken to them besides a “hello” here and there.. Cosign bike, kinda.. Its just a difference in personalities and life styles..

  • Nella

    Seriously – this should surprise no one for multiple reasons. 1. Rodman being a HATED member of the Bad Boys, especially by Pip. 2. Dennis being Dennis. 3. That last 3-peat was all business for them on the court. They whupped ass and had fun doing it, but it was all business. Also, it may run contrary to guys being all BFF’s today, but there’s a difference between being teammates, and friends.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    I mean, what in the living hell would those guys be talking about??
    Rodman was in his own universe.
    He’s still in his own universe.
    Notice that Rodman never pulled any jazz on Lord Thomas III’s watch?
    Only when Isiah was out of the picture was when Rodman discovered his universe.
    Anyways…

  • robb

    nothing new

  • http://j.mp/r3xvbr Allenp

    Sometimes Philo cracks me up.
    Lord Isiah Thomas suckers

  • gdot

    Kobe and Rodman never spoke off the court either. Take that MJ! (I’m just kidding guys)

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    All you guys acting like MJ was such a great leader and he always held the team together is crap. How can those bulls of the big 3 never talk. I blame MJ since he is the greatest leader ever to people. Its alot of stories like this about the so called leader MJ, where he really wasn’t what people act like he is, he messed up in alot of games, froze teammates out, made Scottie want to leave at one time, push Grant away and really if you look at his life, HIS kids probably hate him or despise him and his ex wife dealt with him for the fat paycheck. MJ was great at basketball but thats its, he sucks as a GM and I rather have Zeke running my team, at least he can draft well. BOOK IT!!

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    The Seed:
    You really think that Jordan’s kids “hate” him?
    They may harbor A LITTLE resentment, and, even THAT is arguable.
    For, we do not generally hear about Jordan’s kids being in any kind of major trouble. They don’t publicly express disdain for him, as opposed to Isiah’s brood. (his son)
    They had, and have a pretty comfortable life, no? I’m guessing that they realize that.
    I don’t know…

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    The Philosopher
    Having fun at MJ expense, but just trying to crack MJ is the best leader ever crap. Dude had game, but his leadership skills were always in question to me. I grew up watching him, shoot out games, get ripped, mess team up get ripped, gamble before games, get ripped, run teammates away get ripped, pucnh temmates get ripped and now people act like MJ never did anything wrong, he shot his team out of plenty of games, I watched them, froze out teammates, his teammates hated him–articles I read, but they respected him, and alot. I am tired of the MJ worship when compared to players now. Like MJ was all world DEFENSE, HE HAD SCOTTIE PIPPEN. I heard about this a while back, this shows MJ was not a true leader like people now try to make him out to be. BOOK IT!!

  • MikeC.

    I think Rodman was implying that they didn’t socialize or discuss anything that wasn’t related to professional basketball. I’m sure they had lockerroom convos about who should switch and when, and where help D needed to come from, etc. They just weren’t sitting in a circle gabbing about Twilight.

  • http://Slamonline.com Mars

    cool-blooded

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    The Seed:
    You make some valid points, which lead me to this conclusion, a la JTaylor21;
    Some people lead differently than others.
    But again, you’ve made some points that a many a people have forgotten about when it comes to… Jeffrey.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    *In my judgement*

  • Allenp

    Jordan was all world defense early in his career and he could turn it on even later.

  • rainman10

    @The Seed.
    MJ wasn’t all world defense? And you say you watched a lot of his games growing up? MJ played for a while with a team in Chicago before he was a Wizard. And in Chicago he was named the defensive player of the year. Ya Pippen was his teammate. But a rookie who didn’t play big minutes I believe.

  • slamfan4life

    …….bologna………….yeah i said it….idk if i spelled it right though..

  • Yesse

    Not a surprise to me. Many championship teams have had bad chemistry. Kobe and Shaq were not getting along at all for example.

  • Ryan

    I’m with Seed MJJ has been blown up into a god when in point of fact he was a hugely talented ego maniac with a “competition problem” (according to his Pops) and now everyone acts like he was an all American hero… it’s pathetic.

    As a Piston’s fan it always made me equally proud and sick to see Dennis Rodman’s work as the cornerstone of three titles in Chicago.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @The Seed – Your premises are strange and unsound, sir.

  • Justin

    @The Seed…Don’t you get tired of posting the most ridiculous crap ever written on this site? Why is it that when Pippen and Rodman went into the Hall of Fame, they both said Michael was the greatest teammate they’d ever had? Why is it that bench players like Steve Kerr (one of the people MJ smacked in the face during training camp) have also said MJ was a great leader in practice, driving all of them to be better players? I officially stop reading your idiotic comments after saying Michael wasn’t all world defense? Who cares if he had Scottie Pippen on his team? What does that even mean? Scottie wasn’t coming to help any of the people MJ was guarding and shutting down night after night. Most of the time if players are complaining about how they’re being treated it’s because they’re screwing up and can’t handle it. Whiny little b!tches that they are. And btw, I don’t think anyone was saying MJ was the greatest leader ever, not with guys like Magic Johnson around anyway. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great leader in his own way though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    WHO IS JORDAN?

  • Red Star

    This is news? LMAO!

  • AD

    cosign seed… ima tired of the MJ Worship .. he was a great player but a terrible teamate…. some ppl say he was a bad person… all he cared about was his money….. @ Justin…. ppl dnt tell the truth on T.V Teamates say that so everyone can look happy and make the masses belive everything is all good but its the opposite…….. If they were such good teamates… why would scottie make that comment about lebron and jordan?

  • MikeC.

    @AD – you don’t win 6 championships if all you care about is money. Egomaniac? Probably. Overly-competitive? Certainly. Dickish? Yep. Philanderer? Affirmative. You can say a lot of negative things about Jordan, but the positives (as far as bball is concerned) vastly outweigh the negatives.

  • Dreamteamxxx

    Shut the fxxk up, mj is the greatest leader of all time

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Seed; Perhaps knowing how crazy and volatile a teammate is and knowing when and where there is an oppurtune time to address him can be seen as… leadership. Chess > Checkers.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    MJ = GOAT and we’ll leave it at that.

  • daveh

    Does anybody in their right mind think that Rodman didn’t take steroids during his playing days?

  • DENNIS V

    There is no way that Dennis Rodman took steroids.He would get drunk as a skunk,smoke cigars,pick up women,spend a lot of money.But then in the morning he would go work out like crazy even though he was hungover.And then have his nails painted.I HAVE SEEN IT MANY TIMES.He didn’t even like talking about basketball-it was just something that he was really good at.I bet that he has the best plus/minus percantage in the NBA of all time,if they had kept that stat back then.Played on the great Piston’s teams then really good Spurs teams for 2 years then even greater Bulls teams.

  • http://SLAM Just Passing

    I just happened to be surfing the web. I find it ironic that we can go from talking about Dennis Rodman to delving into personal lives and/or opinions of “other” players. Getting back on track; I had the privilege of seeing Dennis Rodman on several occasions while in San Antonio, Texas. It does not surprise me that he did not hold personal conversations with other players. While in San Antonio, I saw the “man” go to work, do his job “well”, and “always” respect and greet the fans. While other more notable players “never” greeted fans. This showed me that the man was about doing his job and doing it well; with the understanding that if it were not for the fans most of this would not be possible! I fell he is a great man, not a wacko. If most people would exhibited those type work ethics this world would be a much better place. I do not know the man personally, so I find it hard to comment about his off the court behavior! Is/was it entertainment, a way to earn more money, soul searching…..?

  • http://SLAM Just Passing

    “feel” not “fell”. Sorry!

  • wall Ball

    Name one player any of you would take on the greatest list ahead of Mike if you had the first pick to start a team?

  • damiantx

    bill russell.

  • Wikked01

    Ok MJ was a gr8 player but an asshole he DID make his players better He Did demand you to play hard and He DID win. Not the gr8est leader mabye a dictator. But that works for some people. MJ took a PAYCUT to get his backround singers and help mold them into TEX’s image. I think MJ is the 2nd gr8st player ever to play !!! Bill Russell was a true leader and he did it in a hostile racial era. Take that MJ imagine your the best player in the universe and you cant stay are the same hotels or drink from the same water fountain as your white teammates?? As fro Dennis he was the all time best role player in the history of the NBA he did the dirty work and got nome of the accolades a lot like Ron Artest who has taken the gontlet from Rodman (with out the dress). Both will never be totally apprieciated!!!

  • Lenny

    Rodman is arguably the 2nd best rebounder of all time, with the BEST being Bill Russell (again).

  • golakeshow

    Dennis Rodman is the stupidest badass ever

  • golakeshow

    PS. Bill Russell is a lesbian

  • Gman

    You dont have to be best friends with people to be a leader. His leadership skills were on the court, the end.

  • Mooney10

    I don’t care about persona as much as results. It is easy to make comments about a man who is apparently “great” and then shoot him down in spite of all he has accomplished. You look at any sports franchise and the “greatest” is more often than not hated than adored by people around him because of their own perosnal drive to succeed, that doesn’t give anyone a right to knock down what he strived to achieve, we don’t know the details, so why try to conjure up some type negativity out of his career which is well over. People are competitive and the best clash that is how it goes. MJ is still by far the best to ever play in the NBA. Stats don’t lie and neither do rings or MVP’s or finals MVP’s or denfensive player of the year or 10 time scoring champ. Leave the man alone, the past is done! Wanna chirp his ownership do it!! The fact remains he as a player cannot be touched!

  • Spades

    Isiah Thomas is probably the only basketball player to defeat Magic, Bird and Jordan multiple times. People often forget how good the guy was as a player because of his terrible management stints.

  • http://twitter.com/PLYnWINnLAUF cJ

    Maybe they’d talk if Rodman wasn’t with the Pistons prior… I wasn’t alive back here (even though I watch lots of clips and reruns) so I’ve got an excuse, but how did Dennis even end up in Chicago?! I highly doubt these teams traded because of the bad blood. These were the days when there were genuine rivalries, not rivalries where the opponents are buddies. I wish I could’ve seen. On youtube these guys look amazing together so I really don’t care.

  • TC

    This really shouldn’t be a surprise. MJ, Scottie and Dennis were all about workin’ on the court. They didn’t have to be friends.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    What would they have to discuss?

  • Anthony Jay

    @Don “Hey Worm, we loved that dress!” hahahaha

  • http://djchriscruz.com Chris Cruz

    It seems like none of them speak to each other at all. Periodically the 80′s Celtics and Showtime Lakers come to together to reminisce and celebrate the good ol days. Maybe it’s too soon but we have yet to see a 90′s bulls reunion. Post retirement MJ is never seems to associate himself with any other players except for Charles Oakley and sometimes Charles Barkley.

  • sinjun

    that bulls team would of beaten any team at their prime!

  • CHITOWNWARRIOR

    ok, from all accounts, MJ wanted to win so bad he would have not talked to anyone if it gave him a ring sooner than it did. That being said, for someone to compare the heat’s 3 “alledged stars” to any of the Jordan-Pippen era Bulls team ridiculous! While he may be a better scorer, Bosh can’t compare to Rodman’s energy. But even worse, wade and james can’t hold a candle to MJ and Pip in their prime. And these fools in miami are def in their prime now, but are not half the players the other 2 were!

  • Scott

    Cruz: The Bulls had a reunion of the ’91 Bulls last year…and MJ and Scottie hangout all the time. The only guy that seems really embittered by his experiences in basketball (not just the Bulls) is Horace Grant. That or he is really content living out of the limelight.

  • Greg

    Really!? Arguements over a dynasty from 20 years ago? The 90′s Bulls were awesome. 6 titles proved that. Love em or Hate em, That team was awesome.

  • Joe Kidd

    … over the 1987 Lakers, 1986 Celtics, the 1983 Sixers, or the 1967 Sixers? I’m not sure.

  • Joe Kidd

    LeBron James is a better overall player than Pippen; Dwyane Wade is a better scorer than Pippen; and Bosh is a much, much, much better scorer and overall offensive player than Rodman.

    I’ll take Chicago, but Miami could have pushed the Bulls to seven games, much like the 1992 Knicks and the 1998 Pacers.

  • Joe Kidd

    Jordan isn’t close to Barkley anymore, either. After Barkley criticized Jordan’s performance as an executive, Jordan telephoned Barkley and repeatedly called him a “motherf*cker” and a “son of a b*tch” (according to Sir Charles). Barkley still wants their friendship to be close, but says that it is now strained.

    Jordan was never an easy guy to deal with, really. He could be extremely harsh and even cruel toward his teammates, which meant that they admired him more than they liked him.

  • Joe Kidd

    Uh … Isiah Thomas never “defeated” Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, or Michael Jordan. Basketball is a team sport and Isiah was never on their level. He was a great player, yes, but not nearly as efficient. I mean, by your logic, Ben Wallace beat Shaquille O’Neal in the 2004 NBA Finals.

    And how did he defeat Magic “multiple” times? Actually, Thomas’ Pistons never truly beat Magic. They lost to Magic’s Lakers in the 1988 Finals, and although they swept the Lakers in the 1989 Finals, Magic pulled his hamstring in the third quarter of Game Two and he only played five minutes the rest of the series.

  • Joe Kidd

    “MJ is still by far the best to ever play in the NBA. Stats don’t lie and neither do rings or MVP’s or finals MVP’s or denfensive player of the year or 10 time scoring champ.”

    Bill Russell has almost twice as many rings as Jordan and as many MVP Awards. And the Finals MVP Award has since been named after him.

    Jordan may be the best player in history, but the point is not inarguable, I don’t think. There’s a case to be made for not only Russell, but also Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, and even Wilt Chamberlain.

  • Joe Kidd

    What?

  • Joe Kidd

    “MJ took a PAYCUT to get his backround singers and help mold them into TEX’s image.”

    Where? When? In Washington? After his long-term contract ended, Jordan made $30.14M in his penultimate season in Chicago, ’96-’97, and $33.14M in his ultimate season in Chicago, ’97-’98. By market standards, he deserved every penny, but he wasn’t exactly sacrificing.

    And while Tex Winter was one of Jordan’s assistant coaches, Jordan was neither a protege of Winter nor an advocate of his system, even though he accepted it.

  • Joe Kidd

    “I bet that he has the best plus/minus percantage in the NBA of all time,if they had kept that stat back then.”

    The year after the Spurs traded Rodman for Will Perdue, they still won 59 games .

  • Joe Kidd

    Steroids? Why?

  • Joe Kidd

    Based on what?

  • Joe Kidd

    Jordan could be hostile, but I wouldn’t say that he was a terrible teammate. There was no questioning his work ethic or hard he played on both ends of the court, and there was no questionthat he would be ready to play and fight through whatever adversity that he may have encountered.

    But I probably would have rather played with Magic Johnson …

  • Joe Kidd

    “Why is it that when Pippen and Rodman went into the Hall of Fame, they both said Michael was the greatest teammate they’d ever had?”

    Maybe they just meant that he was the greatest player that they ever played with …

  • Joe Kidd

    I wouldn’t say that those Bulls possessed poor chemistry, though. The issue wasn’t that Rodman did not get along with Jordan and Pippen, just that they didn’t really have any discussions.

  • Joe Kidd

    He was the best defensive guard of his era, even during the second three-peat.

  • Joe Kidd

    Jordan received the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988 when Pippen was a rookie coming off the bench; look it up, dude. Jordan was arguably the best defensive guard of his era, much better than someone like Gary Payton (who was overrated defensively). Indeed, one could argue that Jordan really separated himself from Bird and Magic on the defensive side of the ball.

    I wouldn’t say that Jordan shot the Bulls out of many games, either. During his Chicago career, he shot .505 from the field, absolutely astounding for a guard with Jordan’s shooting volume. Conversely, Kobe Bryant has never shot as high as .470 from the field for a single season.

  • Joe Kidd

    And Jordan was far from the perfect leader, but not because of his lack of conversation with Dennis Rodman. Rodman was an experienced celebrity in his own right, with his own interests and his own life. He wasn’t some rookie who needed to be cultivated.

  • Joe Kidd

    To my knowledge, Pippen wanted to leave because of disputes with management, not Jordan. As for Horace Grant, he left Chicago while Jordan was retired and playing minor league baseball, so Jordan had nothing to do with Grant leaving. Grant didn’t particularly like Jordan, but Jordan was a baseball player when Grant left.

    During the second three-peat, Jordan and Pippen worked out regularly in the mornings with Ron Harper. Rodman wasn’t part of the “Breakfast Club” because he tended to spend his nights partying like a rock star.

    Jordan was far from the perfect leader, but not for any of the reasons that you suggest. And as for his kids not liking him, you have no idea in that regard. As for “messing up in a lot of games,” the Bulls won the championship in each of his last six full years.

  • Joe Kidd

    Actually, Rodman did start going “alternative” in his last year with Thomas in Detroit, ’92-’93 (for instance, he started having messages such as “Bite the Melon” shaved onto his scalp). The turning point for Rodman was when Chuck Daly left Detroit following the 1992 season.

  • Joe Kidd

    The issue wasn’t that Jordan and Pippen stopped speaking to Rodman; it’s just that there was nothing for them to speak about. I mean, look at Rodman now; would you want to be drawn into his world?

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