“Lived in Fear of Him… Playing Naked”: Shading Michael Jordan Stardom Despite Iconic Feat, 5x NBA Champion’s Bizarre Threat Was Unveiled in 2020

Published 10/03/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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Overshadowing Michael Jordan was both an unexpected and challenging feat, but it changed when the eccentric Dennis Rodman became a part of the Chicago Bulls. In 1995, the Worm’s powerful personality and unconventional behavior and antics often eclipsed the 6x NBA champion. An esteemed sports writer who witnessed Rodman’s impact on the NBA world shared her firsthand experiences back in 2020. Despite the tremendous fame and success that MJ and the Bulls achieved during the ’90s, the enigmatic personality of the 2x All-Star shone through.

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While the constant unpredictability of Rodman’s character kept the media abuzz and generated significant attention, there was one aspect that troubled sports writer Melissa Isaacson.

What was it about Dennis Rodman that scared Melissa Isaacson?

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Rodman undeniably captured the media’s fascination. His captivating playing style, coupled with his distinctive persona, swiftly propelled him to media stardom. Speaking of unusual behavior, Melissa shared her insights in an interview with The Athletic a few years ago. 

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She stated, “I lived in fear of him one day playing naked, which is what he threatened would be his last act in an NBA game.” In spite of that, people were eager to see more of him. With Rodman on board, the Chicago Bulls experienced tremendous success on the basketball court.

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His unmatched defensive prowess and remarkable rebounding skills were crucial contributors to their victories. This was a significant factor in why both Jordan and Scottie Pippen wholeheartedly accepted his unconventional behavior. Almost every magazine’s cover page featured Rodman. The impact was so huge that it even shifted the attention and spotlight momentarily from MJ. 

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Was Dennis Rodman more popular than Michael Jordan?

During the same discussion, Melissa discussed how the media relentlessly pursued interviews with Rodman following the games. Despite Jordan’s remarkable achievements in the games, fans and the media were often more captivated by the enigmatic Worm. She said, “But as big as Michael was, we never had to chase him to his car after games like reporters were forced to do with Rodman.”

How do you think the legend himself perceives this situation? In an interview with Complex, Rodman candidly acknowledged that he was, in fact, more popular than Jordan in 1995. Melissa’s statement appears to support the legend’s claims.

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Do you agree with her? Did you have the same fear as Melissa? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Pritha Debroy

896Articles

One take at a time

Pritha is an NBA writer at Essentially Sports. She has long been a fan of the NBA and the Portland Trail Blazers. With prior experience in lifestyle writing, she aims to deliver a fair assessment of the happenings from the NBA world, both on and off the court.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth

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