HoopsHype Dennis Rodman rumors

March 10, 2014 Updates

One of ESPN Films' most-anticipated 30 for 30 projects has an official airdate: The Bad Boys, which chronicles the dynastic Pistons teams of the late 1980s and early '90s, will debut Thursday, April 17, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film is a collaboration between ESPN Films and NBA Entertainment -- they partnered on the brilliant "Once Brothers" and the terrific "The Announcement" -- and Boys has the potential to be one of the better 30 for 30 efforts. (NBA Entertainment also produced the last year's sensational "Dream Team" documentary for NBA TV.) More than 40 people were interviewed for the film, including the Pistons' main principals (Isiah Thomas, Bill Lambier, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Adrian Dantley. Vinnie Johnson, John Salley, Mark Aguirre etc. ...) and rival Michael Jordan. Following the film, ESPN will air a one-hour discussion from 10-11 p.m. ET on the Bad Boys Pistons era. That show will be hosted by Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, and ESPN NBA analyst Doug Collins will also appear along with several Pistons players from that era. I'll have more on the "The Bad Boys" in a standalone piece on SI.com on Monday. SI.com

March 9, 2014 Updates

Dennis Rodman, two months after traveling to North Korea for the second time to visit leader Kim Jong Un and conduct an exhibition basketball game, insisted in an interview with ESPN that his motives were pure and that he would not go back if that is what people wanted. Rodman, speaking in a recent interview on camera with ESPN's Mark Schwarz, said he was only tying to "do great things in life." "I wish they understood the whole purpose of why I went to North Korea," Rodman said. "I wish they did." ESPN.com

Sporting a black canvas-like fedora with black feathers in the back and a pair of large-lense, white-framed sunglasses with a nose ring in each nostril, another ring looped around his lower lip and at least one ring in his left ear, Rodman, also wrapped in several bright neck scarves, wondered: "What makes me so damn bad? What makes me this bad, awful person?" "At least someone tried," Rodman said. "So that's how I look at it. You know, I don't want to be a hero, I don't want to be this, I don't want to be that. I just wanted to be, just do happy things and do great things in life. That's all I wanted to do. That's it." ESPN.com

March 2, 2014 Updates

Dennis Rodman, who completed the “Big Three” with Jordan and Scottie Pippen, was last on Phil Jackson’s wish list of power forwards, the coach said on Friday during a panel on dynasties at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “We had to start over when Michael came back,” Jackson said. “We had to start with Toni (Kukoc), Scottie and MJ, and I wrote out a list of seven power forwards.” At the top of Jackson’s list was Derrick Coleman. “The mentality was not there,” he said. “The skills were there, but he was in the middle of a long-term contract.” For The Win

After missing out on their other options, the Bulls turned to Rodman — and made basketball history. “That was the best we could do,” Jackson said, laughing. As it turns out, he was right: Rodman played a crucial role in the Bulls’ second three-peat, leading the league in rebounding all three years. “He had incredible athleticism,” Jackson said. “And incredible weirdness. And sometimes the weirdness followed him out to the bars after the game.” For The Win

February 24, 2014 Updates
February 18, 2014 Updates

Members of the 1989 NBA champion “Bad Boys” Pistons are reuniting next month to celebrate the 25th anniversary year of the first title in franchise history. Team members will first gather at “Bad Boys Unite,” a charity event, at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in Detroit on March 27. The team will also be honored at halftime of the Pistons-Heat game the following night. Attendees have not been confirmed, but players on the 1989 team include Isiah Thomas, current Pistons president Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Mark Aguirre, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards, Rick Mahorn, John Long, Fennis Dembo and Micheal Williams. Detroit News

February 14, 2014 Updates
February 12, 2014 Updates

Anderson said he was not paid a stipend by Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un for his participation in a birthday-party pick-up game, which raises a question about who did pay the players. Anderson declined to say, but said he's received widespread criticism for accompanying Rodman on the trip. And given what he knows now, Anderson said he wishes he wouldn't have taken the journey. I wish he hadn't either. "Me and Dennis do some things. We (both) live in Fort Lauderdale, and I do a lot of clinics and camps," Anderson said. "He came and spoke at my camp for me. You can call me ignorant about the whole situation, but I didn't do my diligence about North Korea. I just didn't know. I didn't know about the leader. I didn't know anything too much about it. That's where I was wrong." Oregonian

Anderson said he wants to help others not make the same mistakes he's made, but showing up in North Korea with a band of ex-NBA misfits? Failing to even "Google" where he was going and who he was going to sign Happy Birthday to? Isn't that a mistake he should have saved himself from? "It was a mistake," he said. Anderson said he was met by US officials who wanted to debrief him after the trip, but wouldn't go into details. I'm assuming they had the same questions about who funded the trip, exactly, if it wasn't the North Korean government. "I wouldn't talk about that. That's a real dangerous situation," he said. "I'm not a politician by no means. I went over there to be an ambassador of basketball. That's what I've been doing since I retired. I didn't want to get too deep into that." Oregonian

February 1, 2014 Updates

The former basketball player is probably the American with the most access to the North Korean leader, and many have been critical that he has not lobbied for the release of American prisoner Kenneth Bae from a labor camp. "I'm not an ambassador, and I tried to strive and tell people, just because I know the marshal (Kim), that doesn't mean I know the marshal like that," he said. CNN.com

Rodman says he didn't mean to insinuate during an earlier interview this month that he knew why Bae, a Korean-American, was being held in North Korea. "To this day I still don't know what he did," Rodman said, even offering to take Bae's place if he could. "I feel for (Bae's family). I feel for them deeply. ... I would do anything literally. This is Dennis Rodman talking. If they (North Korea) said, 'We'll take Dennis Rodman and we'll let Kenenth Bae go,' I'll say, 'You know what? I'll do that. ... Take me.'" CNN.com

"I've always been a party animal," Rodman said. But he said this is a great time for him to reflect publicly and put himself at peace with a "lot of stuff that has been going on" over the past 18 months. "I think for me, the reason I drink is because I'm bored," he said. CNN.com

January 31, 2014 Updates

Phil Jackson said Rodman struggles with sobriety in part because of his job as a "party favor" & "party clown" ... "Dennis is a person I want to keep encouraging," Jackson said to Rick Fox during an interview with NBA TV that aired on Thursday. "I was there for his Hall of Fame induction and have tried to encourage him to find sobriety and it’s been really difficult for him because one of the ways he makes money, obviously, is to be party favor, to be a party clown. I keep trying to nudge him into having a real productive life post basketball. I think it’s really important." Sulia

January 29, 2014 Updates
January 28, 2014 Updates

Robinson and several other Rodman contemporaries agreed to put on a basketball clinic and exhibition game in what is officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea earlier this month. It wasn't until they landed in the capital of Pyongyang that they discovered they would be performing for the country's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, as a birthday gift. "I don't think anyone other than Dennis knew," said Robinson, who played 19 NBA seasons, the last one in 2006-07 with the New Jersey Nets. "We thought we were going to do something good. We heard some of the backlash right away from our family back home. The range of emotions (among the players) were crazy. We're thinking, 'What are we doing here?' It was definitely a trying four days." Bleacher Report

So when something bizarre like the junket to North Korea transpires, you can only get so mad at someone with whom you share such a rare kinship. Players may square off in the moment—think Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony—but the point of contention invariably fades in the face of their unique shared place in the universe. That goes for ex-players as well, apparently. Robinson, for example, takes full responsibility for going and says his friendship with Rodman remains intact. "I'm not going to blame Dennis because I went on the trip knowing there was going to be some fallout," Robinson said. "I looked at it as a chance to touch people through basketball and visit a country that doesn't allow a lot of people in. The mention of a birthday is when it got uncomfortable. It was unfortunate all the politics got dragged into it. As far as what we went over there to accomplish, aside from Dennis' agenda, we did what we set out to do." Bleacher Report

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