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“I Wanted To Be Loved So Much”: The Story of How Dennis Rodman Wanted to Attempt Suicide in 1993

Published 04/28/2020, 6:30 PM EDT

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Many people look at the lives of celebrities or athletes and notice their wealth. “With this amount of money, no one can feel depressed,” is the common misconception. Dennis Rodman is a five-time NBA champion and a legend of the sport. He has been through many ups and downs in his professional career. The former Chicago Bulls star had a traumatic personal life as well. 

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The story of Dennis Rodman attempting suicide

Rodman started off his NBA career by playing with the Detroit Pistons. He was a certified ‘Bad Boy’ and gelled in with the team quite easily. The Pistons won back-to-back titles in the late 80s and Rodman was very much a happy guy. 


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He was very much attached to his coach Chuck Daly and looked at him like a father figure. Likewise, Daly admired Rodman and valued his contributions to the Pistons. But when Daly decided to resign from the team, Rodman was filled with sorrow and his attitude changed. 


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He became troublesome and he felt his teammates were betraying him. His failed marriage with Annie Bakes caused havoc in his mind on top of everything. Dennis Rodman contemplated suicide owing to his crawling trauma. It had come to a point where he could endure none of it.

Speaking to BR in an interview, he opened about a night where he went so close to killing himself. “So one day, I wrote a note and went to the parking lot of the Palace. I had a gun rack, and I had a gun in my car. I had it in my hand. It didn’t have anything to do with basketball. It had to do with this love that I wanted, and it suddenly just left me.”


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He further added how he had a gun in his lap and started playing tracks by Pearl Jam. Rodman eventually fell asleep listening to music in his car. Then I woke up, and all the cops and everyone was there. I didn’t know what was going on. I totally forgot I had a gun in my hand. They got me out of the car. That was pretty much what it was. It wasn’t about the game of basketball. It was about feeling betrayed, because I wanted to be loved so much in my life.”

How Craig Sager saved Rodman’s life

The late Craig Sager is well known for his broadcasting work with the NBA. The former TNT’s sideline reporter once noticed Rodman looking unstable in a public spot when he felt that he should intervene.


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Rodman was traded to the San Antonio Spurs due to his fallout with the Detroit management. The ‘Bad Boy’ felt helpless and resorted to the act of committing suicide. In a past interview with Sports Illustrated, Sager explained how he helped Rodman reconsider his thoughts. Sager found him at a strip club in 1993 and talked him out of suicide. “He had the gun, Sager said. He was going to do it. I told him how stupid that would be.”

Craig Sager was very active in covering the NBA and lived for the sport. He sadly passed away in 2016 after a hard-fought battle against leukemia.

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Written by:

Arjun Athreya


One take at a time

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.
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