The Last Dance (2020): Season 1, Episode 3 - Episode #1.3 - full transcript


I could have been a bomb,

I could have been in jail,
I could have been dead.

But I worked my ass off to get here.

You hear a lot of negative things
about Dennis Rodman.

Well, people don't actually know
Dennis Rodman.

They just see what they see on the court
and read in the papers,

and they say, "God, he's a bad person."

Does it hurt you
that the public perceives you

as this bombastic, crazy guy?

No, I just think that
I created this monster.

But, uh, nobody could say anything bad
about me as a teammate.

You got the great Michael Jordan,

the great Scottie Pippen,
the great Phil Jackson,

but if you take me away from this team,
do they still win a championship?

I don't think so.

I love Michael Jordan to death.
I love Scottie Pippen, all these guys,

but they really don't do the things
that I do.

I'm the only guy
who does all the dirty work,

taking abuse from other players.

I wanna go out there
and get my nose broke, I wanna get cut.

Something that's gonna really
just bring out the...

the hurt, the pain.

I wanna feel that.

A spectacular move!

The game's over!

Chicago Stadium is going wild!

First of all,
there's no backstabbing going on here.

It's time for me to move on.

This will be Phil's last year
as coach of the Bulls.

- Are the expectations too high?
- Where do we go from here?

The only
question: How long can it last?

They still might be considered
world champs, but so far this season,

the Chicago Bulls have looked more like
that old circus act from the '80s

called "Michael and his Jordanaires."

They need help.
They're reeling, looking average.

As for MJ's supporting cast,

Rodman is having trouble
getting out of the gate.

Michael, are you tired
of talking about Pippen and all that yet?

Pretty much.

Until something happens,
until he says what he's gonna do,

we have to continue on.
We gotta do our jobs.

Let's go, fellas.

First meeting with Michael
the player against Larry the coach.

Bulls and Pacers.

Dennis Rodman, blocked by Dale Davis.

Reggie Miller.

Look at the crossover,
right past Jordan for the hoop.

Phil Jackson, we've seen that look
before this year.

Pacers go on to the win,
dropping the Bulls to 8-7.

Last season, Chicago didn't lose
their seventh until game 56.

We missed a lot of easy shots.

We haven't shot the ball
particularly well.

But, uh, tonight what killed us
was our rebounding.

Our rebounding was horrendous.

We couldn't get the rebound,
we couldn't clear the boards.

Dennis is kind of lagging
back there behind everybody else

in, you know,
his enthusiasm for the game right now.

Dennis Rodman's the best on-ball defender

I've ever seen in 30 years.

The problem was that
he wasn't always motivated to play.

It's another one of those periods
that I'm bored as hell.

I gotta find some way
to put a log on the fire.

That's a low blow down here, right?
Intentional foul.

I didn't see it that way.

There's a lot of things I don't see.

Most of the time, though,
I see the shit you do.

Dennis hadn't accepted
the role that...

Scottie wasn't gonna be around
and we needed you to be more accountable.

I need to count on you.

So, around that time, we had a game,
and he gets kicked out for some shit.

And I'm livid,
because he got kicked out of the game

and leaves me out there by myself
'cause Scottie's not playing.

And Dennis knew he fucked up.
He knew he screwed up.

I hear someone knocking on my door
at the hotel.

Now, Dennis never comes in my room,

and he comes and says,
"Man, you got an extra cigar?"

I went to Michael Jordan's room,
asked for a cigar, but...

But I think that he knew the fact that...

That's probably his way...

Of me showing him that, you know,
"Man, my thing, my bad."

He didn't say an apology,
he didn't say anything,

but by him coming to my room,

it was his way of saying,
"Look, I fucked up."

And from that point on,
Dennis was straight as an arrow.

And we started to win.

I'd like to ask y'all one question.

- What time is it?
- Game time!

When Scottie left, I think
Mike had a lot of confidence in me

to know that I'm gonna be there for him.

I'm not going to let him down,
I'm not going to let the team down,

let the city down. No.

Rodman clears
the defensive board for the Bulls.

Nets gave it a whirl,
but just did not have enough.

The defending champion Chicago Bulls
knocked off the New Jersey Nets 100 to 92.

Dennis is what held us together
when Scottie was out.

He had to really focus to make us
as competitive as we were.

We adapt and we adapt quickly,
and we're off and running.

Rodman,
battling for the rebound, saving it in!

And Kerr snatches it out of the air,

and drills it!

Now that's...
that's winning basketball.

Those are the plays that Dennis Rodman
does to make his team great.

Awesome.

As a black kid
living in the projects,

life was really fucking nuts,
right, it was like... Whoa!

My mother drove buses for the school.

She got sick and tired of my ass
not providing, not doing anything.

And, I think... What was I, 18?

She just got tired of me
and kicked me out

so I lived in the street for two years.

I was just trying to bounce around,
see where I could stay at.

People's backyards, my friends' backyards,
stuff like that.

I could've been a drug dealer,
I could've been dead,

I could've been...
Shit, anything at that time.

I don't know why I never did
that drug stuff, but I never did.

I'd just sit there and watch 'em do it,
watch 'em sell it, stuff like that,

and I walk out the door every day,
go to the gym.

Come back, do the same thing every day.

I was just fortunate to start picking up
a basketball and start playing.

And I just got lucky that

some guy from some college said,
"Dennis, you wanna play for us?"

I was like, "All right, great."

I went balls-out every time. I don't know.
I just know how to go full speed.

So, when I was in college, I averaged,
like, 27 points, 14, 15, rebounds a game.

I'm trying to get through school,
try to get a degree and things,

and whatever's... When I finish school,
I just hope for the best.

We had two other picks in the second round
that I'll give you quickly.

Greg Dreiling went to Indiana,
the big center,

and Dennis Rodman, the youngster
from Southeast Oklahoma State,

went to Detroit
as the 27th pick in the 1986 draft.

When he first came to Detroit,
he was just an innocent, beautiful person,

but a little naive about, like, the world.

He was simple at that time.

He would say, "Man, you don't know life"

till you can just go out,
get away from everybody,

"make a fire, cook food outside,
and just look at the stars."

I think the second
or third year in the league,

I actually figured out what I can do best:
Rebound and play defense.

Barkley, with the drive...

I just started
learning how to perfect that.

Holy cow! How about that?

I used to have my friends late at night,

shit, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning,
go to the gym. I said, "Shoot the ball."

I said, "Shoot over here,
shoot over there..."

I'd just sit there, react, react.

I practiced a lot about the angle
of the ball and trajectory of it.

You got a Larry Bird, it's gonna spin.
You got a Magic, it maybe spin.

When Michael shoot over here,
I position myself right there.

Now if it hit the rim, it's... Boom.

Click and go back this way.
It going here and here.

Click, it going that way.

Boom! That way.

Click here and go this way.

So, basically, I started learning how to
put myself in a position to get the ball.

Rebound,
kept alive by Rodman, and...

I was pretty much like that rash
on players,

that rash you can't
never get rid of, right?

Dennis Rodman was the fuck-up person.
He just fucks everything up.

He's a pest.
Shutting down whoever he wanted to.

It was always a challenge.

He was one of them players that had
changed the game just by his presence.

You talk about coach's dreams,
there aren't many players like him.

Couldn't be a player I'm more proud of
and proud to be associated with.

He had a great relationship
with Chuck Daly.

Chuck was the only person
that understood him.

Let's say your guy stops side,

you're in here,
you're defense, lock him here.

I remember one time,
I was working with Dennis,

and then Chuck called me over,
and he said, "Just leave him alone."

You don't put a saddle on a mustang."

Were you considered
a troublemaker on the court in college?

- Did you have that reputation?
- No. I built that in Detroit.

There's no disputing that Detroit

is one of the most physical teams
in the NBA,

and it's all part of their strategy

to take their opponents
out of their rhythm.

The Detroit Pistons
were the epitome

of the physical, tough,
hard-nosed brand of half-court basketball.

They had big strong guys in Laimbeer,
Mahorn, Rodman, Salley.

They had a great defensive player
in Joe Dumars, they had Isiah Thomas.

Were they threatening
the safety of the league's top players?

I don't think they cared.

Wilkins gets knocked
to the deck, and wants Mahorn.

Rivers...

Pushed hard. I mean,
he was driven to the floor.

At that time, in the NBA,
you could do anything you want.

Compared to today,
30 years ago, shit.

Back then, you could just sit there
and just literally beat people up

and get away with it
without a technical or anything.

Dennis Rodman and Lohaus,
under the basket, going at it.

We're like a hockey team,
everybody wanna see us fight.

Rick Mahorn taught me
how to elbow and said,

"If you hit somebody, do it on purpose.

Don't get a cheap foul. That's stupid.
If you're gonna hit him, hit him."

They acquired the moniker "The Bad Boys."

They played a tough, intimidating style,
and a lot of people didn't like it

'cause it was getting away
from the beauty of basketball.

Bird and Laimbeer go at it.

We weren't "the league's favorite."
We weren't the...

We weren't the pretty team that had got
invited to the Lakers' and Celtics' party.

When we showed up, it was almost like
we were crashing their party.

This is the way the game of basketball
was played at the time.

These guys on the other side
may not be as talented,

but when you do come into Detroit,

you gonna get your ass whooped.

We got a fight.
Laimbeer and Daugherty going after it.

We just basically...
"Okay, we're the bad boys."

We started feeding into it.
Next thing you know, we starting to win.

The Pistons
had overtaken the Celtics

as kings of the Eastern Conference,

and they're rolling along just as
the Bulls are really starting to emerge.

In '86-'87, when Jerry Krause
made a head coaching hire,

I think we all felt that
we needed something different.

This speaks to Jerry's strengths.

He identified a young Doug Collins,

who he felt would bring an energy
and enthusiasm that a young team needed.

This is a game
that we need to have high energy.

We have a high energy level.
We win tonight, we got tomorrow off,

so you can spend all night in LA
doing whatever you want. I don't care.

Otherwise, we got practice tomorrow...

Dougie was a breath of fresh air.

He believed in everything that
I believed in. He wanted to win.

He was an easy guy, great guy to play for.

Welcome, sports fans,
this is the Chicago sports... casino.

- He cheats.
- Man! Take that!

- Wins again.
- Bet, bet, bet.

- We know why he win, he got kings.
- Kings, that's right.

Doug's energy on the sideline
was unparalleled.

He'd walk off the floor of a game,
and he would be drenched in sweat.

I mean, he just...
He looked like he played.

Let's make sure, above all,
we get some rest.

Detroit, we're one and four
against those.

And it's on national TV, and I want to
beat those guys on Sunday. Let's go.

Yeah!

The year before I came,

the Bulls had been eliminated
by Boston in the playoffs.

The ball game's over.

The series goes to Boston
in three straight.

The final score, 122-104, Celtics.

The roster
was a little thin at that time.

I'd seen Michael play, but I really never
had spent any time around him.

Number 34, Charles Oakley.

Our second-best player
at the time was Charles Oakley.

He was a vicious rebounder,
brought a lot of toughness.

John Paxson was on that team,
Dave Corzine.

And their head coach,
Doug Collins.

The first game I coached,
we went to Madison Square Garden.

And the Knicks had Patrick Ewing,
Bill Cartwright, they were loaded.

Hubie Brown, Hall of Fame coach.

Two minutes to go in the game.
The game was tied.

I'm soaking wet with sweat.

I've chewed my gum to a powder,
it's around my mouth.

And I saw this hand come out
with a cup of water,

and it was Michael Jordan.
He looked at me and said,

"Coach, take a drink of that water,
clean that stuff off your mouth.

I'm not gonna let you lose
your first game."

Here's Jordan again.

All alone...

Turns, off the glass.

Forty-two points for Michael Jordan.

Ten seconds on the shot clock,
Rory Sparrow working on it.

Jordan, to the basket, scores.

He went out and scored the last ten points
of the game, ended up with 50.

Michael Jordan setting
a new Madison Square Garden record

for an opposing player tonight,
scoring 50 points.

The Chicago Bulls make
Doug Collins a winner his first time out,

and it is a happy Doug Collins
on the far side.

I remember being on the plane,
going back to Chicago, I said,

"Wow. This guy is something
like I've never seen before."

Doug and I, we're like this, you know.

He designed the offense

to support the way I play the game
and the way he wanted to coach.

It's all right, Michael. It's all right.

I think he loved my competitiveness.

He understands that the greatest respect
you can give a great player

is to coach him and coach him hard.

Michael's big thing was,

"Stack the practice against me
and I'll still win."

Doug always tried to maintain
a competitive advantage in practice.

I'd be with the starting five.

Then next thing you know,

while I was winning,
he'd put me with the second team.

One day at practice, he got upset.
He thought I was cheating on the score.

And, uh, he got upset and left practice,
and, uh, we came back the next day,

they were asking, "You talked
to Michael since practice yesterday?"

I said, "I haven't had a chance. We will."
Then Michael came out.

I reached over, grabbed him,
kissed him on the cheek.

I said, "I love him. He loves me."

- Would you come here so we can kiss on TV?
- Here we go.

- Would you tell them everything is fine?
- Aww.

We've kissed and made up now.

I coached him for three years,
from the '86-'87 season through '88-'89.

When I was coaching him,
he was the MVP of the league.

In deep, scoops it in!

He was the MVP
of the All-Star Game.

He won the slam dunk competition...

and he was
the Defensive Player of the Year.

Pass stolen by Jordan.

Michael Jordan takes it
coast-to-coast. Whoo!

That's greatness.

You know, I mean,
he was now the best player.

Under Doug Collins,
the Bulls were rapidly improving,

and suddenly becoming a real contender
in the Eastern Conference.

Detroit was certainly, at the time,
the team to beat in the east,

but who was going to be their challenger?

Who was going to really rise up
and challenge Detroit?

It was gonna be one of two teams.

The Bulls were in ascension,
obviously, at that time,

with their young core of Jordan
and Pippen and Horace Grant.

But Cleveland was,
at the time, a great team.

So these are the two rising teams
in the east.

The Bulls play
Cleveland in '89 in a best-three-of-five.

Most basketball observers believed

Cleveland was better.

Nobody has picked the Bulls.

The media picked Cavs.
Everybody's picked, nationally, the Cavs.

Back then, we played teams
six times in our division.

They beat us six times, 6-0.

So now in our mind,
we got nothing to lose.

Bulls win the first game,
Cleveland wins the second in Cleveland.

Tied 1-1
with Cleveland's victory.

Back to Chicago,
Bulls win game three.

Chicago wins it, 101-94.

Game four, Jordan's got a free throw
at the end of regulation, misses.

Missed it. The Cavaliers
have kept their hopes alive.

We go back to Cleveland for game five.

And welcome
to the Richfield Coliseum for game five

between the Chicago Bulls
and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Up to that time, the franchise,

the history of the Bulls
was blowing leads.

And you're like, "Oh, my God,
this is gonna happen again."

They're gonna blow this. They're gonna
lose the series to Cleveland."

So, game's about to start,
and there was two other beat writers.

Beat writer from the Sun-Times, Lacy Banks

and Kent McDill from the Herald and me.

And Lacy's picked
the Cavs to sweep in three.

Kent's picked the Cavs to win in four,
and I've picked the Cavs to win in five.

So, Michael... Game's just about to start,

Michael walks over to Lacy, and points
to him and says, "We took care of you."

He looks at Kent and says,
"We took care of you."

And he looks at me,
"And we take care of you today."

Mark Price and Ron Harper
in the backcourt

and we're underway. Cleveland has it.

We went back and forth
the whole time.

Jordan against Harper,
great turnaround.

It was a very tough game.

This is the playoffs,

and here we have two great teams
right here, guys that lay it out.

It was a constant battle.

We have had drama
in the final minutes of the game.

- Eleven seconds to go.
- In the middle...

Jordan has it,

and Jordan puts up a jumper and hits,
with six seconds to go.

Jordan hits the basket and now
has 42 points in the game,

and the Cavaliers have called a timeout.

Ehlo will inbound. He gets it in to Nance,
gets the ball back,

drives to the hoop, lays it in
with three seconds to go.

Here's our story,
here at Richfield Coliseum.

One of these teams will advance.
It has been a thrilling game.

The Bulls have three seconds to try a shot
and try to win the game.

Everybody knew
where the ball was gonna go.

They had Craig Ehlo on me
at the time which,

honestly, was a mistake,

because the guy that played me better
was Ron Harper.

We up by one.

I said, "Coach, I got MJ."

I got MJ."

So the coach tells me,
"I'm gonna put Ehlo on MJ."

And I'm, like...

"Yeah, okay, whatever,
fuck this bullshit."

Defense! Defense!

We drew a play
where I was coming to the ball.

But I only had time to get
one dribble and get a jump shot off.

We were gonna live and die
with that scenario.

So I was doing everything
I can to get the ball.

The inbounds pass
comes in to Jordan.

Here's Michael at the foul line,
a shot on Ehlo...

Good! The Bulls win, they win it!

And Chicago
has knocked off the Cavs, 101-100.

Michael!
Michael, you stuck it, baby!

Michael, you stuck it, baby.

- You stuck it!
- Yeah!

I feel very vindicated from
when we started the playoff

with the dim look
that everybody was giving us...

Even I asked you in the locker room,
I asked everybody,

"What was the feeling back in Chicago?
Did they write us off yet?"

You said, "Some of 'em
have written us off."

I said, "Tell those guys to stay home."

Somebody had written or said,
"The Bulls were gonna go home,

send them home."

So when he hits the shot,
"Go home, motherfuckers, go home."

Get the fuck out of here, go fucking
anywhere, but you out of here.

Whoever is not with us,
all you fuckers, go to hell.

Jordan beat them
at the buzzer with a jump shot.

It was so dramatic and it was typical

of what we'd see Michael do
the rest of his career in big moments.

That shot enabled the Bulls
to start growing

and believing
that something special was on the horizon.

We finally got over
the hump of losers' mentality.

We were starting to become
a winning franchise,

and, you know, the sky was the limit.

How high can this man fly?
Michael Jordan is soaring

and the Chicago Bulls
are going right with him.

But now Superman faces his toughest test.

And we bring you the first game
of the Eastern Conference Championship

between the underdog Chicago Bulls
and the favored Detroit Pistons.

The NBA was invested
in making Michael Jordan its star.

The Pistons were...

slowing that down.

We knew how important to the NBA it was
to get Michael to go to the next level.

The blueprint was Larry,
Magic, now Michael.

And all of a sudden,
there was this little team in Detroit

who just messed up the whole story.

We loved that.

How legitimate was the hatred

between those Bulls teams
and those Pistons?

Oh, I hated 'em.

Yeah, the hate carries even to this day.

They made it personal.
They physically beat the shit out of us.

When we played the Pistons
in that series,

it was...
it was arm-to-arm physical combat.

But we never backed down. We fought them.

The Bulls have won
the first game.

So we got game one.

They won game two.

We came back to Chicago,

Michael had
one of the most incredible games.

Jordan. Steal,
he kept it in bounds, here it is again.

Oh! Yes!

You'll see him elevate,
do a 360 and just toss it up.

Pippen, finds Jordan.

Rodman is on him, one-on-one.

Five seconds to go.

Jordan, off the glass. Yes!

It's over. Chicago wins.

What was your call
on that last play?

That was, "Get the ball to Michael,
everybody get the fuck out of the way..."

"and go to the basket."

Jordan pretty much took over the game,

made all the big field goals
down the stretch,

showed like the...
Showed the superstar he really is.

Chuck, how do you bounce back?

We knew Michael Jordan's
the greatest player,

and we tried to use it as a rallying cry
to come together.

We had to do everything from
a physicality standpoint to stop him.

Detroit had "Jordan Rules"
just for Michael.

I don't know how he came out of it alive.

The infamous "Jordan Rules,"

the Pistons' defensive tactics
designed to contain their namesake,

are enforced whenever
Michael is on the floor.

When he was in the air, we had no shot.

Uh, but when everything was on the floor,
you can hold your own.

You have to stop him
before he takes flight

'cause, you know, he's not human.

Michael Jordan. Fouled.

Jordan. Jordan again, pushed.

Here again,
the implementation of the "Jordan Rules."

The Pistons will even it up
at two apiece,

and the story of this game,
the Detroit defense.

This is what
the "Jordan Rules" were:

On the wings, we're going to push him
to the elbow,

and we're not gonna let him
drive to the baseline.

When he's on top,
we're going to influence him to his left.

When he got the ball in the low post,
we were going to trap him from the top.

That's the "Jordan Rules,"
and it was that simple.

What happens
when he does make the baseline?

That's when Laimbeer and Mahorn would
go up and knock him down to the ground.

As soon as he steps in the paint...

hit him.

Chuck Daly said,

"every time he go to the basket,
put him on the ground."

He comes to the basket,
he ain't gonna dunk.

We gonna hit you.
You gonna be on the ground.

Jordan is still down.

We are trying
to physically hurt Michael.

Jordan had no place to go.
Clobbered.

How bad do you want it?

Are you willing to be injured
to score a basket?

The Pistons want to make
Jordan pay whenever he gets in the paint.

The referees back then didn't
look to see if Michael was hurt or not.

It wasn't, "Make sure
that the savior is okay," it wasn't...

That wasn't the way it is.

It is over at the Palace.
The Pistons have beaten the Bulls.

I could compare Michael Jordan to nobody
because for him to survive that

and still maintain that greatness,
I mean, it's very unparalleled.

We were not ready for the Detroit Pistons

at that point in time.

They were more physical than us.
Uh, they were the aggressors.

Detroit had our number.

The Detroit Pistons,
by virtue of a 103-94 victory,

have eliminated the Bulls
and indeed are headed for the finals.

Unfortunately for the Bulls,
the story was the same.

"Control Michael and the win is yours."

We did not have, as a unit,

the confidence that we felt
like we needed to beat Detroit.

The game's over

and the Pistons have won
the world championship.

They're going down
in the record books

as one of the greatest defensive teams
ever in the history of this league.

It seems that, in sports,
there's always that one team...

that you have to overcome,

and you almost build your team
to beat them,

and unequivocally, for the Bulls,
it was the Pistons.

A friend of Dennis Rodman
was worried enough

about the Piston's whereabouts overnight
that he called 911 to initiate a search.

Police found Rodman at the Palace
early this morning in Auburn Hills.

Rodman had taken
his legally registered rifle with him.

His mood characterized as despondent.

What happened?
Why are people concerned?

You get the right answer.

I'm here.

That's Dennis
at 8:00 this morning,

trying to assure reporters that he's fine,

that he's not on the verge
of an emotional breakdown,

and that he did nothing
out of the ordinary, at least for him.

The report that we have is
he took a gun, had a gun in his truck.

Uh, have you heard that,
can you confirm that?

I've heard that, yeah. That's all I know.

I had a gun in my hand,
like, in the front seat.

Luckily, I fell asleep,
and the cops came and got me.

I was at a lost place at the time.
Just a lost place.

That time in my life, I think that was
both a wake-up call and a rescue call.

Last night may have been the last time
we see Dennis Rodman in a Pistons uniform.

- Rodman used to be a Piston.
- He's out of there.

The Worm is now a Spur,
traded for Sean Elliott and David Wood.

Dennis goes to San Antonio,

and then Demolition Man comes out,
and he changes his hair color.

That's me, that's Dennis Rodman.

I'm not trying to please anybody.

And Madonna goes, "He's cute."

And they started seeing each other.

Madonna explained to him,

"You have to establish
who you want to be in this life.

Don't be who they tell you you should be."

He started realizing
he can push to any boundary,

and that's a freedom.

People that write the things in the paper
don't really know Dennis Rodman.

They don't even talk to me so they have
to write something that's crazy and stupid

to make me look like an asshole.

I just wanna do something
that makes me feel like I'm free,

that I can go do anything I want to do.

What does it mean?
The outfits, the tattoos,

the sunglasses, the velvet hat,
the rings, the... stuff.

Why?

I like doing what I'm doing.

It makes me happy. It makes me feel
like I'm a ten-year-old kid.

Can I ask you to do one thing for me
before we leave this interview?

- Take off the hat.
- Why does everybody say that to me?

- Let me see what color it is.
- It's no color.

I've been pretty much lazy
and just, "Hell with it."

I'm thinking about shaving it off.

I wanted no part of Dennis.

Didn't want anything to do with him.

And, uh, Jimmy Stack,
who was my assistant at that point,

came to me, said,
"Let's talk about Rodman."

I said "No, I don't wanna
talk about Rodman."

And he said,
"Jerry, I've done some homework."

I really felt like I had
a different perspective on Dennis.

Why, Dennis Rodman,
who already has a T...

Gets another one, and out he goes.

Dennis was acting out in San Antonio.

But I felt like the structure we had, with
Michael and Scottie and the leadership,

Dennis would respect those guys
and play and thrive.

If we had not had
Michael and Scottie

and the people in that locker room,
we would've never taken Dennis.

If Phil hadn't been the coach,
I don't think we would've taken him.

Because I knew that Phil could handle him.

Do you remember
your first meeting with Rodman?

Oh, it was awful.

I walk into Jerry Krause's house.

He's sitting on the couch.
He's got a pool boy hat over his eyes,

he's got the rings in his nose
and his mouth,

and he doesn't stand up to meet me.
So I said, "Stand up, Dennis."

Take your hat off, shake hands.
Let's go outside and talk."

We had to break bread then, at the house.

He said "Dennis,
you wanna play for the Bulls?"

I said, "I don't care.
Whatever. What's up?"

Last week, the Bulls
announced the acquisition

of a player many people consider

the most controversial basketball star
in the NBA.

He is Dennis Rodman, one of the best
rebounders in NBA history.

Is it one of the shrewdest moves the Bulls
have ever made or one of the dumbest?

There was this visceral reaction
to Rodman.

Rodman was at the center
of the most hated team

in the history of Chicago.

We all thought, "Well, there's no way
they would ever accept him."

Even if they signed him,
they will never accept him."

You know, and to their credit,

Jordan and Pippen, especially, said,
"He can help us win.

We know how tough he is."

How did Dennis fit in
with the team when he first arrived?

Like a hand in a glove.

Dennis was a dominant
defensive player,

and what Dennis brought
was exactly what we needed,

somebody who gave us that edge
on the front line.

If he could do his job,
then we're going to love him.

Play basketball and win. That's it.

That's what he did.

Dennis was one of the smartest guys
I played with.

He understood defensive strategy,
with all the rotations.

He had no limits in terms of what he does.

He could guard multiple players.

He studied each guy. He knew
players' strengths and weaknesses.

Rodman with the interception...

Dennis knows how to play
his role well.

He has a great understanding
of what it takes to win.

He's a huge reason for our success.

You know I was just kidding.

I know.
You gave me a good article the other day.

- I appreciate that.
- Which one?

You said, "Quit worrying
about what he's gonna do"

and live for the present.
Don't worry about next year.

"Leave him alone. Quit asking
questions about what's happening."

I'm sick of it, too.

I'm tired of it, totally tired of it.
I'mma stop talking to y'all.

Just say, "Next question."

Y'all guys don't do it anymore,
but it's on the road.

- That's what kills me.
- Yeah.

It's gotta be
a little draining, every city, like,

"Is it Michael's last game?"
Everything that's going on with that.

Is it wearing on you a little?
Does it wear on you little bit?

Yeah, it gets old. Questions don't change

and the answer is the same.

Wouldn't it be nice if Bulls fans
could enjoy this title run

without worrying that it could be
the final running of the Bulls?

More questions in that vein
for Michael Jordan today.

You said
that this is your last year.

Is this your last outing
in the Bay Area?

Think it's your last season?

Is it Michael's final run
as a Bull?

Think it's your last time
in Atlanta?

- Should he retire?
- It's his decision.

We're required to ask
every game if you're gonna retire.

You're gonna get the same answer.

Although I may have the same answers,
I practice them quite a bit.

I don't know. I don't know.

You never know. You never know.

Beats me.

This may be the last time,
the last dance, whatever, but...

I'm not focusing on that,
I'm focusing on the moment.

Enjoy the moment, you know,
enjoy the game.

And whenever... Whatever happens
for this organization,

at the end of the season, happens.

What happens after that happens.

I think people, well, the media basically,
are trying to redirect, trying to change

some kind of little emphasis within
the question and see if my answers change,

and my response won't change.

So what about next year, Michael?

You guys are... I love you guys.
You're great. Excuse me.

Okay, everybody,
let's go meet the Sniff Brothers.

These are the Sniff Brothers over here.

First, there's Gus Sniff, CT Sniff,

Calvin Sniff, Tom Sniff.

- John Michael Sniff.
- That's John Michael Sniff.

George Sniff.

The Sniff Brothers.
They take care of Michael.

Sniff Brothers
are Michael's security guys.

A sniff brother
is actually a jock sniffer.

So we used to say everybody
was sniffing Michael's jocks.

All those guys would always be around.

He's the general sniff right here.
Brigadier General Gus Sniff.

Brigadier General.

All right.

Y'all get out of here.
We got a heated debate.

Heated debate about the president.
Y'all gotta get out of here.

He'll be running the country
next week.

Gus is gonna be running the country.

If the president
had Sniff Brothers,

he wouldn't have this problem.

That'll pay for your fine.

Oh, yeah? It'll pay for my fine, see?

See what I'm saying?

All people that's in the business are
crooked, too. I'm letting you know.

That was Craig Sager gave me
20 bucks to pay for my fine.

- Sounds like a bribe. Report him.
- That's what I'm saying.

He must want to interview me.
He wants something. That's his problem.

He's just saying hi.

Thank you so much.

They love you so much.

The entertainment...
Anyway, entertainment...

Here you go, dude.

Oh, my God! Thank you!

Just a signature!

Please, Mr. Rodman. Thank you so much.

Y'all like Chicago?

- Yes, it's awesome.
- We love it.

- You need to come to Nashville sometime.
- No, hell no.

I've been to Nashville, brother, uh-uh.
No.

Two months ago, Scottie Pippen said
he would never play for the Bulls again.

But he softened his stance, saying he was
looking forward to returning to the team.

So the question became
when would he come back?

What made you change your mind?

- Change my mind about coming to play?
- Yeah.

I just... I knew that it was
probably going to come down

to me and the team
trying to play hardball,

and I would lose in that situation

because they would start to fine me,
probably, so, uh...

I wasn't going to let them benefit
in that way.

Bottom line is, uh, I was willing
to accept a trade if they did it.

And I knew they wasn't going to do it.

After watching 35 games
from the bench,

the Bulls forward suited up at the
United Center tonight and took the court.

As for Dennis Rodman,
check out the newest hairstyle.

Word is that those are 33s in tribute
to Pippen's return.

Pippen ended up playing
31 minutes,

scoring 14 points, grabbing four rebounds,
dishing out five assists,

and the Bulls have to feel uplifted
by having Pippen back.

When Scottie wasn't there,

Dennis loved the fact
that Michael needed him.

Hey, Dennis...

Let me know when Oakley's gonna
set a back screen on me.

- He set that screen right there so he...
- Yeah.

You want me to open up and just hold him?

If you have to switch out, switch out.

I can stop Houston right there,
Oak's gotta turn around,

- I can stop him as you catch up.
- When the clock is running down,

he's setting that screen,
and veering over the top...

switch in that situation.

He was, "Hey, Michael, it's me and you.
We got this."

And when Scottie came back,
that's when they lost him.

When Scottie came back,
we've got the Three Amigos again,

and I'm pretty much the third wheel
of the family.

Rodman's descent became dramatic,
his drinking, his partying,

his connection with reality.

People don't understand,

it's just not basketball
that we have to deal with on this team.

It's the pressure of the bullshit,
you know. I'll play the game for free,

but you get paid for the bullshit
after you leave the floor.

The public pressure, the media pressure.

Get out of my face, I'm done. I'm done.

I'm not talking, man.

No comment. How about that one?

Basketball is simple, it's a simple game,

but when you leave this confined zone...

It's hard, it's hard.

I never have to prove anything
to people in this country.

This business can kiss my ass. I don't
give a damn what they think about me.

Everybody understood
Dennis' impact on the group,

and we understood that he had,
uh, different, uh...

needs in his personal life than we did.

I'll play you something
from Michael.

While Scottie was out,
Dennis was a model citizen,

to a point where it was
driving him fucking insane.

So, when Scottie came back,

Dennis wanted to take a vacation.

I come to practice. Phil calls me, says,
"Dennis wants to tell you something."

When Dennis wants to tell me something,
I knew it's not something I want to hear.

It sounds...

So, Dennis says, "I need a vacation."

And I look at Phil,
"Phil, what do you mean, a vacation?"

He says, "He needs a vacation,
time off to let loose."

I said, "Look, Phil, let me
tell you something, man.

If anybody need a fucking vacation,
I need a vacation."

He says... We look at Dennis,
"Dennis, what are you gonna do?"

He says, "Well, I need to go to Vegas."

"Phil, you let this dude go to vacation,
we're not going to see him.

You let him go to Vegas,
we definitely not going to see him."

So, he looks at Dennis,
he says, "Dennis, well",

can your vacation be, like, 48 hours?"

And Dennis is like,

"I got no other choice, I take whatever
you can give me, I'll take the 48 hours."

"Forty-eight hours.
You got 48 hours, Dennis."

I'm looking at Phil, "You ain't gonna
get that dude back in 48 hours."

I don't care what you say. He's done.

"Okay. 48 hours."

If he leaves that room,
go straight to the airport... Boom!

They don't hear or see Dennis
for 48 hours.

I remember that.

I went to fucking Vegas.

Dennis was bizarre,
but I think what made it work was

Phil and Michael's understanding...

that to get the most
out of him on the court,

you had to give him some rope.

And they gave him a lot of rope.

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