Dennis Rodman Feared Michael Jordan, Rarely Spoke During Bulls Dynasty

CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Michael Jordan (L) pats Dennis Rodman (R), both of the Chicago Bulls, after Rodman was called for a technical foul 03 May during the second half of their NBA eastern conference semi-finals game against the Charlotte Hornets at the United Center in Chicago, IL. The Bulls won the game 83-70 to lead the series 1-0. AFP PHOTO/JEFF HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the most interesting NBA dynasties were the 90s Chicago Bulls.

Guided by head coach, Phil Jackson, the face of the Bulls was Michael Jordan and MJ’s sidekick was Scottie Pippen.

Winners of six NBA Championships, Bulls role players ranged from Toni Kukoc, Bill Wennington, Bill Cartwright, B.J. Armstrong and Horace Grant.

One other Bulls notables were rebounding machine, Dennis Rodman.

During an interview on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, notable published author, Roland Lazenby shared with me just how unique Rodman and MJ’s relationship was.

Check out our Q&A below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Yeah. It IS two different games. Scoop B Radio on the line talking to my new homie Roland Lazenby and all things basketball. Me and you can sit around and talk for hours for real for real… I spoke with Jason Caffey recently on the Scoop B Radio Podcast who told me what it was like being around Dennis Rodman and he talked about how he and Steve Kerr and as well as Phil Jackson would kind of take turns and kind of being like his you could say his chaperone during his night life. We talked about how Madonna advised Dennis to put in his contract to have multiple jerseys that he could use as a marketing ploy to throw to the fans. When anybody talks about Michael Jordan’s and Dennis’s relationship, it’s the perception that many people have about Michael and Dennis is that they weren’t friends, Michael and Scottie really didn’t speak to Dennis…From your perspective and who you spoke with throughout the process of writing books about the Bulls, what sense did you get about Dennis’s relationship with the Chicago Bulls players on the roster?

Roland Lazenby: Well I think early on Dennis didn’t speak at all early on. And were talking about around the fall of ’95. He went to the Bulls bankrupt. He had lost all of his money gambling it away and stuff. He got up to Chicago in the fall of ’95. Jordan himself was still with anger then. He was still angry over the death of his father. He was really still mad about his play in Spring of ’95 when he turned the ball over in key times against Orlando – things he just NEVER did. And he came into that camp serious. That’s when he punched Steve Kerr and had all the – and initially that bad image came from the initial moments in the training camp and all the early time together for that team. But Michael and Steve [Kerr] explained it to me for the Jordan book Michael and Dennis came to having an understanding; sort of like Kareem and Magic. They knew how to stay out of each other’s way and everybody on that team feared – even Dennis who didn’t fear much, feared Jordan. He scared the crap outta people. And he didn’t have to do much to do that, but most of the people used to give him a wide enough berth, but they had a healthy respect. They won championships together and they fit together like a glove, you know? Dennis was getting extra shots with all those offensive rebounds so they bonded over time. Everything that those guys told you was accurate. It’s just no situation with a team is static. You start one way and it either goes uphill or downhill usually. And usually it’s related to how you gel together on the floor. Basketball is its own language in that regard. It’s like music. It’s a language. You’ll have musicians that hardly talk to each other, but they step on that stage, they talk the same language. They know how to – and it’s like they don’t need to say anything. I mean you don’t have to say a whole lot to play a great basketball game or played a great concert. You’ve really talked in other ways, you’ve communicated, there’s sort of a merging intuition in human nature and that’s one of the fascinating things about it. My son is your age and is a musician. And so the more I watch – he plays a bunch of ins and outs and I watch and I enjoy it. And I do all this thinking about the intuitive nature of things and it’s almost beyond – sometimes guys like you and me who rely on spoken language have a lot of fun with it. We forget sometimes that that’s not the most important thing for everybody else. They have their way of talking and communicating on an elevated level.


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