Dennis Rodman is one of the most interesting and polarizing figures in NBA history, and the ESPN 30 for 30 Rodman: For Better or Worse gives an inside look into the life and career of the Hall of Famer and five-time NBA Champion.
How to Watch ‘Rodman: For Better or Worse’ Online
Every film in the complete 30 for 30 library, including Rodman: For Better or Worse, can be watched with a subscription to ESPN+.
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Rodman: For Better or Worse on your computer via the ESPN website, or you can watch on your phone (iOS or Android), tablet, Roku, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox One or other compatible streaming device via the ESPN app.
‘Rodman: For Better or Worse’ 30 for 30 Preview
Dennis Rodman is one of the most unique characters in NBA history — from his patented dyed hair to his strange relationship with North Korea. The title of the documentary, Rodman: For Better or Worse, is a very true interpretation of what the 1 hour and 42 minute film covers. It wasn’t always pretty with Rodman, which the documentary — directed by Todd Kapostasy — makes no secret of.
“I think, unfortunately, the public perception of Dennis is as a caricature in many ways…and maybe an attention seeker,” Kapostasy told TV Insider when asked what he wants people to walk away from the documentary with. “And maybe the attention is something he needs now, but Dennis Rodman wasn’t someone who just happened to wake up one day and decide to dye his hair and put on a wedding dress or befriend Kim Jong-un. There was a series of events that slowly led him to do these things and be that person.
“So, hopefully, after watching the film there’s a better understanding of how someone evolves in this way. And while some things that he’s done or said will and should anger and frustrate a viewer, I really do think there is some sympathy to be had for Dennis Rodman.”
Rodman became known for his bad boy attitude, which showed in his style of play on the court. At 6-foot-7, Rodman led the NBA in rebounding from 1991 to 1998. He was also known for his defensive prowess, garnering two Defensive Player of the Year honors and making the All-Defense first-team seven times.
But beyond all the other marks on his resume and his flamboyant personality, Rodman’s five NBA titles — three with the Bulls and a pair with the Pistons — are what made him a name known worldwide.
“This game has been very good to me. I could have been anywhere in the world. I could have been dead, I could have been a drug dealer, I could have been homeless — I was homeless,” Rodman said during his Hall of Fame speech in 2011. “A lot of you guys here in the Hall of Fame know what I’m talking about, living in the projects and trying to get out of the projects. And I did that, but it took a lot of hard work and a lot of bumps along the road.”
The documentary covers Rodman’s rough upbringing in Dallas and profiles his transformation into a five-time NBA champion and the man known as “The Worm.”
“I think his attitude, both then and now, toward his experience in Oklahoma was surprising. His life from childhood and into his 20s in inner-city Dallas was so personally challenging and so devoid of success that he was willing to ignore the racism he faced in Oklahoma for any sliver of acceptance or belonging,” Kapostasy said. “I also think his ongoing relationship with his mother was surprising and interesting. Going into the interview process for the film I had no idea that both Dennis and Shirley Rodman had this lingering resentment from various things that had happened over the last 50 years.”
The documentary also included interviews from Rodman’s former teammates and coaches, including Bill Laimbeer, Phil Jackson, John Salley, Isiah Thomas and even Michael Jordan. Rodman’s Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen does not make an appearance.
“That’s cool about Michael. He doesn’t do too many things,” Rodman told USA Today. “But Scottie? I’m going to see him tomorrow. He was going through some things in his family life when we asked him. He couldn’t do it. But he sent his congratulations and said sorry.”
One of the most interesting parts of Rodman’s life — which is filled with interesting twists and turns — is his relationship with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un, a noted NBA fan. Rodman has called the North Korean leader a “friend for life.”
“It’s a good thing that they’re talking, right?” says Rodman in the film. “So that is my biggest legacy and the biggest thing I want in my life to carry on for the future.”
After the documentary initially debuted, Rodman doubled-down on his admiration for North Korea.
“If you sit down and talk to him with lunch and then shoot the s— with him, I think you’ll say, ‘Well, this guy’s cool and pretty nice,'” Rodman said of Kim. “I just think people need to understand, it’s like, if you took time out, if you can just visit and go hang out and you’ll see the people in North Korea that they have certain ways. You have to adapt to it, but that’s the culture and the way of life. It’s different, but it’s interesting to see.”
What Other Content is on ESPN+?
Name a sport, and it’s probably on ESPN+ at some point throughout the year:
- UFC: Most “Fight Night” events are on ESPN+, while PPV events can be ordered through ESPN+
- International Soccer: ESPN+ has exclusive rights to all Serie A, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Copa del Rey matches in the US. Also includes EFL, Coppa Italia, Copa America, A-League, Dutch Eredivisie, Indian Super League, W-League and more
- Boxing: Dozens of Top Rank fights, which includes Vasyl Lomachenko and Tyson Fury
- College Sports: Hundreds of football and men’s and women’s basketball games (including many Big 12 games), as well as lacrosse, hockey, wrestling, volleyball, softball, baseball, swimming, gymnastics and more
- Tennis: Grand Slam events, including exclusive coverage of every Wimbledon and US Open match not televised on the ESPN or ESPN2
- International cricket: Matches featuring New Zealand, India and others
- International Rugby: Including Guinness PRO14 and Super Rugby matches
- MLB: One daily out-of-market game
- NHL: One daily out-of-market game
- MLS: All out-of-market matches
Other Documentaries & Films
Other ESPN documentaries and films that aren’t included in the actual 30-for-30 series are also available on ESPN+, including D. Wade: Life Unexpected, Venus vs, The ’99ers and others.
The list of ESPN+ originals continues to grow. It includes Peyton’s Places, The Boardroom with Kevin Durant, NBA Rooks, Ariel & The Bad Guy, The Fantasy Show and Alex Morgan: The Equalizer.
UFC On-Demand Library
In addition to live UFC events, ESPN+ also features a vast library of past fights you can watch. This includes classics from Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, Brock Lesnar, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Frank Mir and others. You can find a complete rundown of the ESPN+ UFC library here.
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