On Tuesday night ESPN debuted the much-anticipated 30 for 30, "Rodman: For Better or Worse". The film took a deep dive into how Rodman went from a shy and impoverished youth to the iconic and polarizing NBA Hall of Famer that we all know him as today. Although the film focused on Rodman's entire career and post-playing days exploits, Bulls fans certainly got what they needed in terms of intriguing 90s Bulls content to tide them over as they await the mega-Michael Jordan documentary 'The Last Dance' in 2020.
Here are the best moments from 'Rodman: For Better or Worse' for Bulls Nation to enjoy.
1. 'The List'
The Bulls shocked the basketball world in 1995 when they pulled off a trade that no one saw coming. Many analysts were pointing out that the Bulls struggled on the boards in the absence of Horace Grant, who left for the Orlando Magic as an unrestricted free agent in 1994. So Bulls general manager Jerry Krause and head coach Phil Jackson agreed that the Bulls needed to pursue a competent power forward to help move Toni Kukoc back down to the small forward position. So Jackson decided he needed to make a formal list of players to target.
Jackson's list ultimately contained five players and Rodman was indeed the fifth player on the list.
We do not know who the other four players on the list were and that is one of the most interesting aspects of Rodman getting to Chicago. Who were the other four players on that list? Maybe Shawn Kemp, whom the Bulls almost traded for in 1994? Charles Oakley, who is a close friend of Jordan and was a top 10 rebounder in 1994? Or perhaps Jackson even wanted to attempt to bring 'ol Horace Grant back into the fold.
The acquisition of Rodman was the key to extending the NBA Championship window of the Jordan and Scottie Pippen Bulls, so how the dynasty would have fared had they traded for one of the other four names on Jackson's list is one of the great "What ifs?" in Bulls history.
2. Pardon me...how many shots of Jaeger
Rodman was just as famous for his excessive partying as he was for his dominant rebounding and one specific night added significantly to his legend. In Rodman: For Better or Worse it was revealed that during one particularly raucous night of partying, 'The Worm' took 40 shots of Jagermeister and again, just to clarify, this is one night we are talking about here. It generated some great responses from NBA Twitter.
40 shots of what???— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) September 11, 2019
My biggest question after watching the great Rodman 30 for 30 is how in the world did Rodman survive doing 40 shots of Jager in one night?— Kevin Anderson (@Kevin_NBCS) September 11, 2019
Dennis Rodman didn’t 40 jager shots in one night. How...... pic.twitter.com/WdlxOJMaA3— Rome (@romey_rom3) September 11, 2019
40 shots, one night and somehow that isn't even the most impressive part of the story. After taking those 40 shots of Jagermeister that night, the legend goes that somehow Rodman managed to make it to practice the next morning. There truly is, only one Dennis Rodman.
3. Shocking words from the GOAT
Dennis Rodman has had a wild ride getting to where he is now. Above, we mentioned the extent to which Rodman partied. He even refers to his infamous wedding dress, book-signing event as "the beginning of the rockstar Dennis Rodman."
But "Rockstar Dennis Rodman" was so intense that the GOAT himself thought things were going to be headed south if Rodman didn't ease up on his partying and excessive late-night socializing.
“In all honesty, playing with Dennis and the lifestyle he lived, I never thought he’d ever see 40”
-Michael Jordan on Dennis Rodman
It is quite a shocking statement to see from Jordan, who was obviously worried about Rodman despite the fact that the 6-foot-7 forward was always in remarkable shape and led the league in rebounding during all three of his seasons with the Bulls. But again, while fans simply saw the highlights, MJ had a behind-the-scenes look at what Rodman was up to on a constant basis and as current Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich—who was the general manager when the Spurs traded Rodman for Will Perdue—can attest to, Rodman's partying did not slow down during the season.
4. Everyone wants to be like Mike...even 'The Worm'
While the assumption would be that Rodman always disliked Jordan due to his aggression against him during the Bad Boys Pistons days, it turns out that Rodman was just as big of an MJ fan as the rest of us.
In Rodman: For Better or Worse it was shown that Rodman always had a ton of respect for Jordan and even idolized him. Former Pistons and Bulls forward John Salley kept it very, almost too real, when sharing how much Rodman admired Jordan. Salley went as far as to say that Rodman "loves Micahel Jordan's dirty-ass drawers."
“Dennis Rodman loves Michael Jordan’s dirty-ass drawers.”— 30 for 30 (@30for30) September 11, 2019
John Salley called it like he saw it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/PuePfNm9d7
Rodman stated that he also "loved Phil from day one" and longtime Bulls writer Sam Smith discussed how the unique leadership structure of the Bulls contributed heavily to Rodman fitting in so well. In the end, the second three-peat might've never happened without Rodman and he almost wasn't a part of the team. Reports state that Scottie Pippen was against the acquisition of Rodman and that he had to be convinced that the move was a good one.
Who do you ask led the charge in convincing Pippen that Rodman would be a good addition? Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson.
5. Before the legendary Anthony Davis growth spurt, there was Rodman's incredible transformation
Chicago-native and NBA superstar Anthony Davis' legend grew when it became widespread information that he grew 8 inches in 18 months, turning him into the lanky big man he is today. But before Davis' spurt, there was Rodman, who had a remarkable growth spurt after high school. The number has been disputed, but it was stated that Rodman grew between 8-to-11 inches after finishing high school. While experiencing this growth spurt, Rodman was working as an overnight janitor at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
Rodman had quit basketball as he didn't have enough skill to garner serious playing time from any coach. But after his growth spurt, he got back into the game, playing his first college basketball at North Central Texas College. Rodman didn't last long there due to academic struggles and eventually made his way to Southeastern Oklahoma University, where he became the top rebounder in the NAIA twice and was named a three-time NAIA All-American.
That fateful growth spurt (obviously) had huge implications on Rodman's life, sending him down a path that ended in him becoming a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest and most beloved Bulls in franchise history.