Dennis Rodman’s salary with the Chicago Bulls during the 1997-98 season featured on The Last Dance was $4.6 million, per Spotrac. Prior to the season, there was plenty of intrigue over whether Rodman would return to the Bulls, but the forward signed a one-year, $4.6 million deal.
This was nearly half of Rodman’s $9 million salary from the previous season, but SF Gate reported that the incentives in the deal gave the forward the potential to exceed his earnings from the previous year. Rodman averaged three points, 2.9 assists and 15 rebounds during the 1997-98 season with the Bulls.
“The players and the people of Chicago, they gave me a lot, so I figured I might as well come back and give them one more year,” Rodman said after signing the contract, per SF Gate.
Based on ESPN’s data, Rodman’s salary tied him with Ron Harper and Toni Kukoc as the second-highest paid players on the Bulls roster. All three players were well behind Jordan’s $33 million salary in his final season with the Bulls.
Rodman would go on to play one season each for the Lakers and Mavericks but his career was never the same as it was in Chicago. The elite rebounder played 23 games with the Lakers and just 12 games the following season for the Mavericks.
Rodman Earned $27.5 Million Over His Career
According to Spotrac, Rodman earned $27,506,176 over his 12 NBA seasons. The majority of Rodman’s money came from the Bulls accumulating $16.1 million during his three seasons in Chicago. Rodman earned $5 million during his first five seasons with the Pistons and $4.9 million during his two years with the Spurs.
Former Bulls head coach Phil Jackson kept a running diary of his final season in Chicago for ESPN the Magazine that was published on May 4, 1998. Jackson referred to Rodman as the “heyoka” of the Bulls team.
“Dennis Rodman doing a terrific job rebounding — unbelievable for a guy who is 36 years old. But people do not appreciate that this guy is a court jester,” Jackson wrote for ESPN. “He’s a ‘heyoka,’ a backward-walking man from Indian culture. Those guys walked backward, rode horses backward, wore women’s clothes, made people laugh. He’ll come in when the team is a little glum — I mean here is a man with a big yellow happy face on his hair, then a festive, multi-colored Christmas ‘do.”
Rodman Was Described by His Lawyers as “Broke” & “Sick” in 2012
Rodman’s trouble away from basketball has been well-documented. Rodman’s lawyers described the former NBA star as “broke” and “extremely sick” in 2012 court documents, per Fox Sports. This was part of a dispute over $808,935 Rodman owed in back child support at the time. Rodman’s manager Darren Prince noted to ABC in 2012 that his client had trouble adjusting financially when his NBA career ended.
“He’s not hurting, compared to retired athletes, with what he makes, but he’s certainly not making what he made when he was paying with the Bulls,” Prince told ABC.
Upon the release of the 30 for 30 documentary Dennis Rodman: For Better or Worse, the former Bulls forward opened up about his struggles in an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen. Rodman is once again featured in the new ESPN documentary The Last Dance about the Bulls final season in the Jordan era.
“I think after watching the film [Dennis Rodman: For Better or Worse], they’re gonna look at me and say, ‘Wow. He didn’t want no money. He didn’t want no fame. He didn’t want anything. He just wanted someone to take care of him and love him,'” Rodman explained to ESPN.
Here is a look at Rodman’s salary and contract details, courtesy of Spotrac.
Dennis Rodman’s Salary With the Bulls
Dennis Rodman’s Career Earnings