One of NBA history’s most eccentric characters, “The Worm” surprisingly got on well with “His Airness” because of what he did on the court. On his Instagram account, Rodman recalled the time he badly wanted to get to Las Vegas to get his head straight:
“I don’t think anyone’s ever approached any coach the way I did in Chicago with Phil Jackson. I just got so bored, same routine every day.
“So I went to Phil Jackson and say, ‘Hey Phil, hey man, I gotta get my mind right. I gotta go to Vegas.’ He said, ‘You wanna go to Vegas? Two days.’
“This was during the season, midway through the season, we’re playing games. Next thing you know I’m in Vegas having a blast with a bunch of girls, just me and Carmen [Electra], a bunch of Jagers drinking my a** off.
“On the third day, I’m still in Vegas partying my a** off. Fourth day, partying my a** off. Who comes to Vegas to pick me up? Michael Jordan. ‘Dennis, you gotta come back and play!’”
Episodes three and four of ‘The Last Dance’ featured Dennis Rodman’s time in Sin City. It was supposedly a 48-hour holiday, but based on Rodman’s account, it wasn’t until the fourth day that Michael Jordan picked him up.
MJ was originally against Phil Jackson’s decision to allow Rodman to go to Las Vegas because things could easily get out of hand. Jordan even retorted to Jackson that if anybody deserved a vacation, it was him and not ‘Dennis the Menace’.
Scottie Pippen missed the first half of the 1997-98 season due to an injured toe. During that span, Dennis Rodman was effectively Michael Jordan’s ‘Batman’. The need to be at his best behavior drove the rebounding king ‘nuts’, according to MJ in ‘The Last Dance’.
When Pippen returned, it didn’t take long for Rodman to ask Phil Jackson the now infamous favor.
Dennis Rodman proudly explained what time spent in Las Vegas did for him:
“When I get back, what happened? I was lively, I was ready to rock! I was like, ‘boom!’ I was ready to rock. I’m good now. That was my fix right there instead of drugs or alcohol.
“That was my fix going to Vegas. I’m so used to going there because it energized me a lot. I love entertainment so much. Vegas just fired me up.”
Michael Jordan wants Dennis Rodman to hang out with him
During the 2022 NBA All-Star weekend, the league named its 75th Anniversary team, which included both Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman. The two former teammates apparently haven’t had much time to spend hanging out together based on MJ’s appeal to Rodman:
“What up, boy?… Man, I can’t complain. When you gonna come and hang out with me? Come on, man, come hang out with me. You know I miss ya.”
From heated opponents who hated each other’s guts, “The Worm” and “His Airness” have proven that not all rivalries have bad or awkward endings. In their three seasons with the Chicago Bulls, not only did they bury the hatchet but also became close buddies over the years.