“It Was Like They Got Rid of My Dad”: NBA Legend Dennis Rodman, Who Was Once Disgusted at the Thought of Drinking, Took to Alcohol After Major ‘Surrogate Father’ News in 1992

Published 10/12/2022, 11:30 AM EDT

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Five-time NBA Champion Dennis Rodman used to be disgusted by the thought of drinking. But he was hit with a piece of devastating news about his ‘Surrogate Father’. After that, Rodman took to alcohol, the one thing he could not stand.

The Chicago Bulls legend grew in a house where he did not have his father present since the age of three. He grew up with his mother and two sisters and did not know his father until his NBA days of fame and glory.


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But The Worm had another father figure in his life. It was his first NBA head coach, Chuck Daly. Rodman played under Daly for the first six years of his career.

Dennis Rodman turned to Alcohol when Chuck Daly left the Pistons

Daly was like a father to Rodman and they were highly successful together. They made five straight Conference Finals appearances, making three NBA Finals and winning two titles in a row.

But Daly would go on to leave the Pistons in 1992 and this was a massive blow to The Worm. Rodman said his leaving was similar to his father leaving him. He said, ”It was like they got rid of my dad. I couldn’t forgive them.”

READ MORE: “The Reason We Get Along Is, I’m the Crazy One”: Dennis Rodman, Who Didn’t Speak to Michael Jordan Off Court, Once Befriended His ‘Lifeline’


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Rodman finally met his real father only during his NBA playing days. He reportedly had 27 children and left Rodman when he was three. And he met him at a time when Daly was forced to leave the Pistons. Rodman changed drastically after that and his mother admitted,” Before that he thought drinking was disgusting.”

Rodman left the Pistons after another year and he went to the San Antonio Spurs. There he started dying his hair and started gaining a reputation as the Bad Boy of the NBA. After that, he left for the Chicago Bulls, where he won three titles in a row with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Afterwards, he had brief stints with the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers before ending his NBA Career.


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WATCH THIS STORY: There’s no money left 5xNBA champion Dennis Rodman while deciding between Lakers and  Miami got a brutal reality check despite a stellar career 

Dennis Rodman may not have had his dad when he was growing up, but he found a father figure in his head coach. And he was devastated when Daly was forced to leave.


Written by:

Vishwesha Kumar


One take at a time

Vishwesha Kumar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Holder of a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Vishwesha has been writing content for about 3 years now. He has been following the NBA for nearly 10 years, since first starting off in the year 2012.
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