The Chicago Bulls made a bold move before the 1995-96 season, as the team traded for Dennis Rodman from the San Antonio Spurs. It was a very controversial trade since Bulls superstar Michael Jordan, along with Scottie Pippen, got into several fights with Rodman when The Worm played for the Detroit Pistons.
The Dennis Rodman trade worked very well for Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Chicago won three straight titles after acquiring Rodzilla, but it wasn’t because of Jordan and Rodman’s relationship off the court.
Michael Jordan despised Dennis Rodman
Michael Jordan hated everyone who was on the Pistons in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Dennis Rodman and Detroit used to foul MJ very hard and invented the “Jordan rules” to stop the Bulls legend from scoring.
Because Rodman used to foul and hit Jordan hard, His Airness got into many fights with the big man. The Bulls lost to the Pistons in the playoffs three straight years before finally getting past them in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. Rodman and Co., though, didn’t shake Jordan and the Bulls’ hands after Game 4.
Jordan won three consecutive titles after getting past Rodman and the Pistons. After Jordan retired from the NBA following the ’93 championship over the Phoenix Suns, Rodman was traded from the Pistons to the Spurs.
Michael Jordan returned to the Bulls near the end of the 1994-95 season. The Bulls lost to the Orlando Magic in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals and knew they needed to upgrade the roster, so they acquired Dennis Rodman in the offseason.
Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman were cool on the court, but they never spoke to each other
Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman had good chemistry on the court with the Bulls. However, according to Rodman, he and Jordan never talked to each other.
Jordan, Rodman, and Scottie Pippen would often go to the same restaurant after a game. MJ and Rodman rarely spoke to each other even though they were dining at the same restaurant.
“We never really talked off the court,” Rodman said on 105.1 The Breakfast Club. “We never really talked. The only time we ever saw each other off the court is when like we go to a restaurant and next thing you know we’ll go to a restaurant, Michael Jordan will have eight bodyguards, Scottie Pippen will have seven bodyguards, I’ll have like six, and we actually made a triangle in a restaurant. We never talked in public.”
Rodman didn’t have to get along with his teammates to win. As long as the group was focused on the task at hand, that’s all the rebounding machine cared about.
Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the ’96 Finals and the Utah Jazz in the ’97 and ’98 Finals. Remarkably, the Bulls had success during the Rodman era even though he didn’t talk to Jordan or Pippen that much.
The Bulls dynasty was one of a kind
The Bulls’ six championships in eight years came against the LA Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Suns, Sonics, and Jazz (twice). Michael Jordan won all six Finals MVPs, establishing himself as the greatest basketball player of all time.
Michael Jordan finished his stellar Bulls career with averages of 31.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. Along with his six titles and six Finals MVPs, Jordan won five regular-season MVPs and 10 scoring titles.
Dennis Rodman only played three years with the Bulls, but he led the NBA in rebounds per game each year.