Dennis Rodman opens up about time with Bulls in run-up to documentary release

Dennis Rodman opens up about time with Bulls in run-up to documentary release

Who is Dennis Rodman? That is the question at the heart of the 30 for 30 documentary “Rodman: For Better or Worse” which will premiere on ESPN Tuesday, September 10 at 8 p.m. CT.

The film will trace Rodman’s life back to humble beginnings growing up in Dallas, through his journeyman career in the NBA — which, notably, featured an extended, accolade-rich run with the Chicago Bulls — and delve into his struggles with addiction and fame. The prevailing theme, though, is sure to be Rodman’s unbridled expressiveness and perpetual grappling with identity, on and off the court. 

Here is the trailer for the documentary, which was released by ESPN back in August:

In the run-up to the film’s debut, Rodman conducted a wide-ranging interview with Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin. In it, the Hall-of-Fame forward discussed how his relationship with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen has endured since their time playing together during the golden era of Bulls basketball.

“[We] have so much love for each other now because we're not haters with each other,” Rodman told Bleacher Report. “We embrace the fact that we had a chance to play with each other. We're friends. We're not calling each other every day and hanging out, but when we see each other, we share the love.”

Years after winning two consecutive titles with the Bad Boy Pistons in the late 1980’s, Rodman linked up with Jordan and Pippen in 1995 and helped the Bulls rattle off their second three-peat in eight years from 1996-1998. He was the unquestioned third banana of what some would argue is the greatest Big Three in NBA history.

“[We] revolutionized the game. The way everyone plays now, that's how we played then. And now all of a sudden everyone's talking about Big Threes. Now? Really? We were the Big Three,” Rodman said. “We were the main three. We consistently won, we consistently won championships.”

Rodman also made headlines by saying in passing that the Bulls’ dynastic run ended because of a financial dispute between MJ and Bulls’ management: “[T]he only reason we didn't repeat four in a row is because Mike said, ‘I want X millions of dollars.’ And they didn't want to pay him, so he left, I left, Scottie left and Phil Jackson left… That's how the run ended.”

Regardless of your thoughts on Rodman’s off-court exploits and commentary, his basketball resume (five-time champion, two-time DPOY, seven-time consecutive rebound champion) and cultural impact are undeniable. The film should be a compelling watch.

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Michael Jordan issues statement of solidarity in wake of George Floyd's death

Michael Jordan issues statement of solidarity in wake of George Floyd's death

Add Michael Jordan to the growing list of powerful voices to address the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody on May 25 in an incident that brought third-degree murder and manslaughter charges for Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin.

The incident, in which Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd’s pleas for help, has led to widespread protests throughout the United States, including in Chicago. Chauvin is white. Floyd was African-American.

In recent years, Jordan, the Charlotte Hornets chairman, has taken a more significant and public role in addressing societal issues after drawing criticism from some during his playing career with the Bulls for not doing and saying more.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan’s statement said. “I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.

“I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.

“My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and to the countless others whose lives have been brutally and senselessly taken through acts of racism and injustice.”


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Bulls issue statement following death of George Floyd, recent protests

Bulls issue statement following death of George Floyd, recent protests

In a statement issued Sunday, the Bulls joined many in the sports world by speaking up in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Floyd died in police custody on May 25 after Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine straight minutes (a video of which spread across the internet). Since, mass protests have taken root across the United States, including in Chicago.

In the statement, Nancy and Michael Reinsdorf expressed condolences to the families of those mourning, condemned racism in any form and called for action towards equality and justice for all.

“The events of the past weeks have been disturbing and challenging for us all. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the incident with Christian Cooper, were gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. The Bulls organization sends our condolences to these families who have been caused unthinkable grief and to all those who suffer because of these terrible incidents.

“All too often, after these tragedies we talk but the conversations don’t result in any meaningful changes. Our communities can’t move forward or hope for peace when we’re constantly hitting the reset button after each incident. Everyone deserves to feel safe, to be respected and to be able to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of world we live in.

“We are angry, sad and confused. Racism in any form is wrong, and what we see happening makes us want to take action. We know that’s the same for a lot of people. But anger isn’t about destruction. Lawless actions won’t bring better understanding, and they don’t honor the lives that have been lost. We should use our energy and efforts to come together to build a better Chicago that stands for equality and justice for all.

“There is a crisis in our country, and we need to redouble our efforts and work harder than ever. We have to rise above our differences and come together to affect real change for the future; otherwise we’re going to see the past repeat itself again. We have to listen to each other, act with love and be intentional and relentless in our pursuit of a better world. It is time. We at the Chicago Bulls organization are committed to working together to stand for real change. We can do this together.”

Saturday, Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr. and Coby White also voiced their reactions to Floyd’s killing:

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