Five moments from the second night of 'The Last Dance' that captured the essence of Dennis Rodman


After about two minutes into the second night of ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” it was very clear who was going to be the star of the night.

The Dennis Rodman Episode had arrived, and it was as glorious as anyone could reasonably hope. The third piece of the Chicago Bulls’ most immortal teams was a complex, hair-dying, partying, borderline masochistic marvel of a player and human being. There definitely isn’t a player like him today, which made his portrayal so compelling for a modern audience.

When an episode starts off with a guy casually stating he wants to break his nose on the court, buckle up.

Dennis Rodman was unique, to say the least. (Reuters)
Dennis Rodman was unique, to say the least. (Reuters)

Dennis Rodman wasn’t just tough — he was a basketball savant

When you are 6-foot-7 and not particularly bulky, it takes a lot to lead the NBA in rebounding rate an incredible eight years in a row. It takes toughness. It takes athleticism. Most of all in Rodman’s case, it takes basketball IQ. It takes the ability to see a basketball drifting to the rim and innately knowing where you need to be on the floor.

Few — if any — players have ever had that knowledge more than Rodman. That wasn’t an accident.

Has any player in the history of basketball been able to reel details like this off the top of their head? Rodman’s rebounding breakdown was exceptional television.

The Bad Boys are just as tough as you remember

Before Dennis Rodman was an all-time Bulls great, he was an all-time Bulls nemesis.

The depiction of the “Bad Boys” Pistons was among the most anticipated portions of the documentary between Rodman and their role in Jordan’s story as the team that pushed him into becoming the great we know today.

As the calendar hit 1989, the remembrances of the Pistons began. Toughness. Defense. Attitude. Rodman had a starring role.

The birth of Dennis Rodman’s hair

When it comes to most casual basketball fans, the defining feature of Dennis Rodman is his hair and all the colors and patterns that come with it. Even that had an origin story in this episode, and involved Madonna and the 1993 movie “Demolition Man,” starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes.

That also led to a stunning revelation about a certain hair pattern that we frankly all just thought was leopard print.

Dennis Rodman: load management pioneer

“The Last Dance” delivered another classic moment as the crew handed phones to Rodman, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson that played a video of Jordan recounting a certain meeting in the 1997-98 season.

Dennis Rodman. 48 hours. Las Vegas. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

As incredible as it was to hear the concept in the context of the meeting, more than a few load management jokes came out.

‘The Hangover’ prequel, starring Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan and Carmen Electra

As it turned out, a lot could go wrong. Like Rodman not returning on time has spent his time in Vegas partying with Carmen Electra.

So Jordan went to Vegas and fetched him, and yeah, we might have the makings of a movie here.

Naturally, the documentary managed to get Electra on camera talking about the day that Jordan found their hotel room. Again, just exceptional television.

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Originally published