Sunday night’s episode of “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s docu-series about Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls focused heavily on Dennis Rodman who became crucial to the team’s success that season when teammate Scottie Pippen was out with an injury.
But as the season wore on and Pippen returned, Rodman “became dramatic, drinking, partying and losing his connection with reality,” as Bulls writer Sam Smith said. That’s when he approached Phil Jackson about needing a vacation, specifically to Vegas.
“You let him go on vacation, we’re not going to see him,” Jordan said. “You let him go to Vegas, and we’re definitely not going to see him.”
The Bulls eventually gave him 48 hours in Vegas to unwind and return back to them.
Footage shows Rodman drinking a beer as he met up with a biker friend to ride off as fans cheered.
Actress Carmen Electra, who was dating Rodman at the time, documented the wild nights that ensued.
“It was on, the party was starting right away,” Electra said. “We’d go to his favorite restaurant, then we’d go to a nightclub, then we’d go to after hours, it didn’t stop.
“It was definitely an occupational hazard to be Dennis’ girlfriend. He was wild.”
As expected, Rodman didn’t return back to the team as expected and Jordan himself had to retrieve his eccentric teammate.
“He didn’t come back on time, we had to go get his ass out of bed,” Jordan said. “I’m not going to say what was in his bed, where he was, blah blah blah.”
“There was a knock on the door, it’s Michael Jordan, and I hid,” Electra said. “I didn’t want him to see me like that, so I’m just hiding behind the couch with covers over me. ‘Come on, we got to get to practice.’”
Bulls coach Phil Jackson forced the team to do conditioning workouts to get him back into game shape, but Rodman hadn’t lost a step and even sprinted past everybody.
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