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The ESPN docuseries The Last Dance goes into unprecedented detail about Michael Jordan and his fellow Chicago Bulls teammates (opens in new tab), including the colorful, controversial Dennis Rodman. Rodman, who gives interviews in the series, played a pivotal role on the team but was, and is, as known for his off-court behavior as for his playing. Far more media attention has been paid to Jordan's former and current relationship with former Bulls player Scottie Pippen, particularly since Pippen is reportedly none too pleased (opens in new tab) about his depiction in the series. But it's also caused fans to wonder: What's the relationship between Rodman and Jordan like? And has The Last Dance changed how they view each other?
It's said that Dennis Rodman "idolized" Michael Jordan.
Actually, that particular topic was covered (opens in new tab) in Rodman's 30 for 30 documentary. Former Chicago Tribune writer Sam Smith said that Rodman was "almost like a fan," although Rodman countered, "That’s funny as hell." Jordan responded to the question with, "I wouldn’t say 'idolize'...He viewed it as my team, and if things needed to be said, I could easily say it and Dennis would respect that." On Rodman's end, he says he rarely spoke to Jordan (or some of his other teammates) when they weren't playing.
These days, Rodman's been the most vocal about the relationship between him, Jordan, and Pippen. (Rodman and Pippen butted heads, sometimes literally, but ended up having a good working relationship). Rodman explained (opens in new tab), "[We] have so much love for each other now because we're not haters with each other...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."
Rodman will occasionally post a throwback photo:
Including one of the two of them as recent as 2005:
Jordan's not on social media in a personal way, that I could see.
Rodman has commented on The Last Dance.
Rodman actually came to Pippen's defense, giving an interview (opens in new tab) of his own about The Last Dance. Pippen himself hasn't commented, but he's rumored to be upset about his depiction thus far (as of this writing, the final episodes haven't been released). Rodman, speaking on that particular topic, said, "I wish he didn't give a shit like me about what people say."
Even though Pippen was one of the best, "[N]o one could ever quite see him. He was too quiet, and he was always standing next to Michael Jordan."
"Scottie was so underrated—and so underpaid. He should be holding his head up higher than Michael Jordan in this documentary," he added. "I think a lot of people are now realizing what he went through. The kid was a hero, in a lot of ways, during those great Bulls runs." Those last sentences also seem particularly interesting, re: Rodman's view on Jordan and the series.
WATCH 'THE LAST DANCE' ON ESPN+ (opens in new tab)
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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
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