Dennis Rodman Took A Mid-Season Leave Because He Couldn’t Deal With The B*tching And Complaining Of The Kobe-Shaq Lakers

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Dennis Rodman Took A Mid-Season Leave Because He Couldn’t Deal With The B*tching And Complaining Of The Kobe-Shaq Lakers


If there’s one thing from ‘The Last Dance’ to highlight Dennis Rodman’s complex and unpredictable personality, it would be the time when he decided to take some time off from basketball to have a vacation in Las Vegas in the middle of the season.

But little did everyone know that this actually wasn’t the last time it happened in Rodman’s career.

After leaving the Chicago Bulls to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers before the 1998-99 NBA season, Rodman in fact also decided to take some time off and had a vacation in Las Vegas. The reason was because he couldn’t deal with constant b*tching and complaining from the team’s young players, Rodman revealed in an interview with HoopsHype:


If you could go back to 1999, to the moment that you signed with the Lakers, would you find a way to work things out and win a title with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, or do you think it was just impossible, that you could deal with the Kobe-Shaq situation back then?

DR: Well, first of all, I loved Jerry Buss to death. Him and Jerry West, I loved those two guys to death. When I went to the Lakers, Jerry Buss came and got me in Orange County, at a restaurant called Ruth’s Chris‘. He sat down and said, ‘Dennis, I want you to come play for me.’ And, I hadn’t played ball in six months, you know. I thought my career was over, I was done. ‘No, Dennis, I want you to come play for me. I’ve always wanted you to come play for me,’ he said. ‘It took this long for me to come get you.’ He came and got me one day, and I went down, and I did a press conference, and I thought it was a joke. I thought someone was playing a game on me, or something like that. That was in January, or something like that, so I went finally to the Lakers, and I think we won 10 straight games when I first got on the team, and I took a break. I told the team, I said, ‘I got to take a break, I can’t deal with this.’

I could deal with the fame, I could deal with the glamour, I could deal with the glory, and I could deal with the money, and stuff like that, but I just couldn’t deal with the fact that you had a bunch of young guys on that team was sitting there bitching, complaining, all the damn time. I wasn’t used to that. I wasn’t used to people coming in the locker room, being a b*tch, b*tching, doing this, b*tching in the locker room, b*tching on the bus, b*tching on the plane, I mean, ‘God Damn! Man, what the f*ck, what’d I get myself into?’ I’m used to people going on the bus, pissing and complaining about, ‘What sh*t, I could’ve played. Goddammit.’ Stuff like that, but that got to me, and I just took a break, and me and Jerry Buss went to Vegas. We played in Vegas at the MGM. We played cards, and then I came back. We won five out of nine games, and I got released because they said that I left my shoes at home, but that wasn’t the reason. And, Jerry Buss came to me and said, ‘Dennis, I knew nothing about that. I’m sorry, you know, I apologize. If I would have known that I would have stepped in.’ But, he said, ‘Whatever you do, Dennis, whatever you do for the rest of your life, I’m there for you. Whatever you need, you need me, I’m there for you.’ That’s why I love Jerry Buss, because he never forgets someone that he loves… Jeanie Buss, I love that whole family, but Jeanie, she’s just like her father, I love her.

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