Best of Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance: Revisiting Dennis Rodman’s Vegas Trip

Published 12/28/2020, 10:00 AM EST
Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman. during Air Jordan Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Sneak Peek of Air Jordan XX to Kick Off Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas. ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)


In almost every probability, there was no adult in the ‘90s that did not know who Michael Jordan was. If there was one, he was surely living under a rock for ages. However, with the arrival of many more legendary sportsmen, MJ’s popularity faded away. But that was until The Last Dance documentary completely swept away the millennials with his aura.

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The 10-episode documentary blew the dust off many unknown chapters from the Chicago Bulls’ platinum run. One of those was the eccentric Dennis Rodman’s surprising detour. He pulled a stunt that gave Jordan and Phil Jackson jitters.

When Dennis Rodman became the main-man for Michael Jordan

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The Bulls’ Michael Jordan drives to the basket as teammate Dennis Rodman and the Clippers’ Loy Vaught(left) look on during game at Sports Arena earlier this season. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

It was in 1997 when Scottie Pippen got his first big injury after playing 10 complete seasons. He had injured his left foot’s second toe and was dodging a surgery for long. But in October 1997, it was sure he would not be coming back until Jan 1998. Back then, team’s VP Jerry Krause had said, ”You lose that leadership and that ability. All we can do now is hope everyone steps up.”

Now, since he was out, it was obvious for the flamboyant Dennis to step up and take one for the team. He was the third leading figure that the Bulls could trust. And he did just that.

Into his season #3 with the Bulls, it was his first time in six years that the star defender played 80 games. However, the story behind missing the remaining two is unearthly interesting.

The Worm and his erratic moves surprised everyone

After stretching himself to fill up for Scottie, Dennis wanted to let loose and go to Las Vegas. As Michael Jordan himself put it, “When Scottie was out, Dennis was a model citizen, to the point where it was driving him f***ing insane. So, when Scottie came back, Dennis wanted to take a vacation.”

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NBA Basketball – Chicago Bulls Dennis Rodman during Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz on June 8, 1997, at Delta Center in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won 78-73 to take tie the championship series at two games each (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

This led Dennis to secure a meeting with coach Phil and team leader MJ. That’s when Dennis revealed to the head coach about his intentions to take a mid-season break and go to Vegas. To this, MJ had then responded, “Phil, you let this dude go to vacation, we’re not gonna see him. You let him go to Vegas, we’re definitely not gonna see him.”

MJ knew Dennis a little too very well and so did coach Phil. Hence, they allowed Dennis only a 48-hour leave. Back then, he was dating actress Carmen Electra who tagged her relation as “an occupational hazard”. To everyone’s surprise, Dennis did not show up after two days, and eventually, it was MJ who had to go to Vegas and drag him back. 

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Crazy hairstyles, unthinkable choices, WWE appearances, brilliant playing career, that was the maniac Dennis for all his crazy fans.

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Sourabh Singh

1130 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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