Dennis Rodman corrects ESPN doc 'For Better or Worse' on Madonna | News Coverage from USA

Dennis Rodman corrects ESPN doc ‘For Better or Worse’ on Madonna

Bryan Alexander

USA TODAY

Published 5:27 PM EDT Sep 14, 2019

LOS ANGELES — As an intimate group of his friends and colleagues watched a special Hollywood screening of the ESPN “30 for 30” film “Rodman: For Better or Worse” Monday night, Dennis Rodman himself was  contemplating life with a Cuban cigar outside the Los Angeles theater, admitting “I can’t watch it with other people.”

The retired NBA star, wild-haired celebrity and onetime unofficial North Korean peace ambassador, 58, plans to watch director Todd Kapostasy’s project this weekend. Still, he was confident of a hit, sight unseen.

“This documentary is going to show people on planet Earth about living life in the fast lane, the slow lane and the middle lane,” Rodman promises, putting his dormant cigar on the rug to talk. “Everything about living the right way and the wrong way.”

In a chat with USA TODAY, Rodman has a couple of corrections on points made in the film, which aired Monday (available now on demand via the ESPN app and on ESPN+ on Oct. 9.

Dennis Rodman wants to help Trump: By winning Nobel Prize with North Korea deal

Question: It’s fitting we’re talking as North Korea has launched another test missile. Do you feel your Kim Jong-Un outreach is your “greatest legacy,” as you state in the doc?

Dennis Rodman: I don’t like to talk about North Korea too much. It was a very integral part of my life after basketball. I’m glad I did it. And it’s over. But I’ve moved on.

Q: I was surprised to see Michael Jordan participating, but why no fellow Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen?

Rodman: Yeah, that’s cool about Michael. He doesn’t do too many things. But Scottie? I’m going to see him tomorrow. He was going through some things in his family life when we asked him. He couldn’t do it. But he sent his congratulations and said sorry.

Q: Many voices in ‘Better or Worse’ say you really idolized Jordan. True?

Rodman: It wasn’t that. But we were competitors all the way through. He didn’t care. Whatever it took to win, (even) if he had to sacrifice his body, his mind, his soul. He lived basketball. I saw this guy sick. And you saw him mesmerize other opponents, they didn’t know how to play him.  

Q: The segment where you dated Madonna was quicker than I expected, and Madonna didn’t take part. Why?

Rodman: We didn’t ask her or (ex wife Carmen Electra). We had a nice little fling. That came and gone. Madonna didn’t influence me to be a fashion and creative guru. We came together in the perfect time. She was stagnating in her career, and I was coming up. We helped to motivate each other, going in the same direction at that particular time.

Q: San Antonio Spurs coach John Lucas tells a great story about you bringing Madonna into the locker room. What’s your recollection of that?

Rodman: She saw me the last game of the season in Los Angeles in 1994. She was sitting in the front row with her friends, looking all Madonna-ish. After the game, she’s sitting at my locker. I was like, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ I didn’t invite her. She just came in and sat down. And all the players were like, ‘What the hell is she doing here?’ They didn’t care; they had their towels on. They just wanted their picture with her. She was not shocked, she was just laughing, talking with the guys. And I went back to her house. That was my life with San Antonio. I was living the basketball life and the rock-star life. 

Q: David Robinson still seems vexed by your championship-free tenure with the Spurs.

Rodman: It’s hard to describe that. We got along, we didn’t get along. We somewhat played together well, but didn’t communicate very well. He didn’t know what to think of me. But as long as we were winning, and successful, we thought it would blow over. But it never did blow over.

Q: It didn’t blow over because you didn’t win a championship?

Rodman: It could have worked, but it didn’t work. I’m thinking to myself, thank God we didn’t win a championship in San Antonio. I thank my lucky stars. Because If I would have won a championship with San Antonio, I still would have been there. I never would have made it to the Chicago Bulls, and Chicago wouldn’t have won those three championships. So it’s a blessing in disguise.

Q: Does Wesley Snipes know you stole his hair from 1993’s ‘Demolition Man,’ as mentioned in the documentary?

Rodman: No. When I first went to San Antonio and had my hair dyed at the mall (that came before) my girlfriend at the time said, ‘Let’s go to the movie.’ And she picked ‘Demolition Man.’  

Q: The wedding dress to promote your 1996 autobiography is a classic. Would it shock people now?

Rodman: Hell, no. After I thought of that idea, I came to the hotel and was riding a stationary bike in the gym. And I looked to my left, and there was (Aerosmith’s) Steven Tyler on the bike next to me. I said ‘Steven, what do you think about this idea?’ I’m thinking about wearing a wedding dress to my book signing.’  And he flipped out. He was like, ‘That’s awesome; that’s great.’ I never knew wearing a wedding dress on Fifth Avenue was going to make that impact. We shocked the world. But today it would be a common thing.


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