To say Dennis Rodman is eccentric would be understating the obvious. Rodman has a history of saying outrageous things and engaging in some pretty crazy activities. Some made headlines. Others did not. Let’s take a look at some of Dennis Rodman’s most bizarre moments.
Called Larry Bird overrated because he’s white
After the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, a reporter asked Rodman for his impression of Boston Celtics star Larry Bird. The rookie, who hadn’t yet made a name for himself for his eccentric behavior or remarks, said Bird was overrated because he was white. Understandably, the comment made headlines.
What amplified those headlines at the time was when Rodman’s teammate, veteran leader Isiah Thomas, agreed with the remarks. That episode set off a firestorm that included Bird saying the “guys are free to say what they want.” Eventually, Thomas ended up apologizing for his role in the fiasco.
His marriage to Carmen Electra
NBA fans and entertainment fans collectively wondered what Carmen Electra, one of the hottest stars in the 1990s, saw in Rodman from the start.
That sense of wonderment exploded in late 1998 when the couple, who had been dating for nine months, announced they had tied the knot after a late night in Las Vegas. The families of both the bride and groom were reported to be ecstatic for the newlyweds.
People magazine revealed how strong the couple’s bond was when it reported the two shared a love of dresses and partying at Rodman’s club in Chicago.
Not surprisingly, within ten days, the marriage was annulled.
Debated suicide in the parking lot of the Palace at Auburn Hills
Dennis Rodman had his share of inner demons and has battled depression much of his life. One day in 1993, he drove up to the Palace at Auburn Hills and sat in his car with a gun in his hand. After feeling the Pistons organization had betrayed him and head coach Chuck Daly, who Rodman viewed as a father figure, had resigned, he felt abandoned and alone. He wanted to end it all.
At some point, Rodman turned on his radio and started listening to Pearl Jam. He described listening to the song “Even Flow” and then everything went dark. Rodman had fallen asleep. When he finally woke up, Pistons personnel and the police were waiting and helped get Rodman out of the car.
The time he married himself
In 1996, as part of a promotional tour for his autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be, Rodman wore a wedding dress in a procession that stunned everyone. For days, he had bragged on the book tour about how he was going to be marrying a beautiful and intelligent woman.
Rodman arrived at the bookstore in a horse-drawn carriage wearing the dress and announced to the media and onlookers he was going to be marrying himself. It was one of the more bizarre incidents, even for Rodman, but as the years passed that moment seemed to be just another one of the pieces in the confusing puzzle that is Dennis Rodman.
Rodman blames American in North Korea
In recent years, Rodman has made headlines for his strange friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. It all started back in 2014.
That’s when Rodman traveled to North Korea with other former NBA players to play in a basketball game against a North Korean team. During the visit, CNN’s Chris Cuomo interviewed Rodman about the reasons for his trip.
Rodman, who later admitted to being drunk, sparked outrage by suggesting that imprisoned American Kenneth Bae may have done something to deserve his sentence of 15 years of hard labor. Several days later Rodman released a statement apologizing for the remarks. He also apologized to his teammates and Cuomo.
The history books will show Dennis Rodman as a man with two disparate legacies. For sports fans, Rodman will go down as one of the greatest rebounders in the history of the NBA. For everyone else, he will be remembered for the many things he did during and after his career that made front-page news for a variety of bizarre reasons.
As the saying goes—”Good publicity. Bad publicity. It’s all publicity.”