‘Best Player He Has Ever Coached’: Dennis Rodman Reveals His Relationship Dynamic With Phil Jackson

Published 09/02/2021, 11:30 AM EDT


The Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 90s granted their defense responsibilities to Dennis Rodman during the second three-peat. And ‘The Worm’ lived up to the expectations of Bulls head coach Phil Jackson. Not many have known what type of a relationship Rodman shared with his coach, but recently there has been a revelation on the same.

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Back in the days, Chicago Bulls were the favorites of the league. The dynamic duo, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had established a fan base for themselves as well as the franchise. Through the first three-peat won by MJ-Pippen, people didn’t imagine another star name to placed along with them. But, the Bulls acquired Dennis Rodman in 1995 and they were ready with a phenomenal trio.

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Dennis Rodman was a man of his own whims and fancies

Rodman, a former Bulls rival at the time, played for Detroit Pistons and became 2-time NBA champion. When he signed with the Bulls, the banner franchise earned their most skilled defender and rebounder.

The 2-time Defensive Player of the Year was a tough nut to crack with practices and schedules set by the Bulls. Having Jordan in the team engraved a hard-working pattern within his teammates. But, Rodman was different. His off-court antics often overshadowed his on-court significance.

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One such instance was when Rodman went for a two-day trip to Las Vegas during the Bulls’ 1997-98 championship season. This story was also covered in MJ’s famous documentary ‘The Last Dance’ as an episode that made headlines. To deal with the talented yet divergent persona of Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson proved to be the ideal head coach.

Phil Jackson chalked his way through Rodman’s lifestyle

In a conversation on the ‘Full Send Podcast’, Rodman revealed, “Phil called me the best player he has ever coached.” And speaking about the unexpected Vegas vacation, the Hall of Famer further added, He (Phil Jackson) didn’t say sh** [about Vegas]. He said, ‘Dennis, make sure you be at practice, see you tomorrow.’ That’s all he said to me all the time.”

One of the greatest defensive players of all time, Rodman won three championships with the Bulls and made his total title count five. Even though Bulls fans hold differing opinions about Rodman, Phil Jackson eventually understood him more than anybody could.

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Pavni Ahuja

501 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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