Who is the real Dennis Rodman?
Is he the five-time NBA Champion that was a highly influential member of both the Bad Boy Pistons and the second three-peat Bulls or is he the side show that couldn’t fit in with the San Antonio Spurs and left the Bulls to wrestle in WCW during the season?
Director Todd Kapostasy explores all sides of that question in Rodman: For Better or Worse, an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary airing Monday at 8pm et/5pm pt on TSN3 and TSN4.
Rodman’s resume on the court in the NBA is pretty hard to match.
He was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 27th pick of the 1986 NBA Draft and averaged 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in his rookie season.
Rodman immediately began to find his place as a member of the “Bad Boy” Pistons, appearing in all 82 regular season games, mostly off the bench, as Detroit captured back-to-back titles in 1988-89 and 89-90.
The Trenton, New Jersey, native would lead the league in rebounds per game in seven straight seasons, a period that would include two lacklustre seasons with the San Antonio Spurs and his eventual move to the Chicago Bulls.
As a member of the Bulls, alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Rodman would win three more NBA titles, bringing his career total to five.
As far as career accolades go, Rodman has many: Two-time NBA All-Star (1990, 1992), two-time All-NBA third team (1992, 1995), two-time Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1991).
For his career that stretched over 14 seasons, Rodman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
On the court, however, is only the opening chapter of the Dennis Rodman story.
Many believe that the beginning for the Rodman “persona” stems from the time he spent with Madonna in 1995.
He was also married to actress and model Carmen Electra, who played a major role in a famous incident that took place during the Bulls' 1997-98 championship season when, with coach Phil Jackson’s permission, Rodman left the team to party for a few days in Las Vegas.
Rodman also had an unexcused absence from the 1998 championship team, when he left the team during the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz to appear on
Monday Nitro as a member of the New World Order wrestling faction in WCW.
Headlines and controversy did not end for Rodman after his retirement from the NBA.
He found himself squarely in international headlines in 2013, when he went to North Korea to host basketball exhibitions and met with Kim Jong-un, becoming the first American to meet the North Korean leader.
Rodman has since made many trips to North Korea, referring to Kim as "a friend for life.”
A basketball Hall of Famer and a tabloid darling, who is the real Dennis Rodman?