On October 2, 1995, the Chicago Bulls traded Will Perdue to the San Antonio Spurs for Dennis Rodman. It was a polarizing move since Rodman played for the Detroit Pistons when the “Bad Boys” physically tried to hurt Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Bulls general manager Jerry Krause wanted nothing to do with Rodman. However, his assistant — Jim Stack — convinced him to trade for Rodman, arguably the best rebounder in the NBA. The trade not only shocked Bulls fans, but it also stunned Rodman.
Dennis Rodman: I was shocked the Bulls wanted me
Rodman admitted in ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries that he was surprised when he found out the Bulls had interest in acquiring him from the Spurs. Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, Krause, and Phil Jackson met at Krause’s house before the trade was finalized in 1995.
“I was shocked the Chicago Bulls even asked me to come,” Rodman said. “I think I was a little more eccentric for them. We had to break bread then at the house. So basically, he (Jackson) said, ‘Dennis, you wanna come play for the Bulls?’ I said, ‘I don’t care. Whatever. What’s up.'”
Rodman revealed in his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame speech that Jackson made him apologize to Pippen for all the hard fouls he committed during his Pistons days at Krause’s house. Once Jordan and Pippen signed off on the trade, Krause made the deal with the Spurs, and the rest is history.
Dennis Rodman helped Bulls win three rings
Rodman appeared in 199 regular-season games for the Bulls. He averaged 5.2 points and 15.3 rebounds in 34.6 minutes per game while shooting 45.2% from the field. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year won three rebounding titles in Chicago and helped Jordan and Pippen win three more championships.
In 58 postseason games with the Bulls, Rodman put up 5.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest. Chicago defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 Finals and the Utah Jazz in the 1997 and 1998 Finals. The Worm played stellar defense and helped the Bulls clear the boards with his elite rebounding skills.
Jordan and Pippen didn’t hang out with Rodman off the court. However, the trio had great chemistry on the hardwood. MJ said Rodzilla is one of the smartest teammates he played with in The Last Dance, while Pip stated the rebounding machine knew how to impact winning at the highest level.
There was a reason, though, Krause initially didn’t want to trade for Rodman. The seven-time rebounding champion partied a lot in his free time and sometimes lost focus on basketball.
Dennis the Menace took a vacation to Las Vegas and wrestled with Hulk Hogan in 1997-98
Rodman was all over the place in 1997-98, his final season with the Bulls. He took a vacation to Las Vegas during the regular season with Carmen Electra and wrestled with Hulk Hogan a day before Game 4 of the 1998 Finals against the Jazz. Incredibly, Rodman grabbed 14 rebounds versus the Jazz in Game 4 and went 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in the Bulls’ four-point win at home.
Led by Jordan, the Bulls won the 1998 Finals over the Jazz in six games. Rodman averaged 3.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in the six-game series and played physical defense on Utah superstar Karl Malone. Chicago three-peated during the Rodman era, and El Loco finished his career with five rings.
If it weren’t for Stack, the Bulls would have never traded for Rodman in 1995. The franchise is certainly fortunate Krause’s assistant did his homework on Demolition Man.