Dennis Rodman recently outlined the differences between playing with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen for the Chicago Bulls and with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant for the LA Lakers.
“In Chicago, we never did this sh*t. If we got mad, we got mad at ourselves,” Rodman said.
The Lakers had a stormy 1998-99 season, featuring a 37-year-old Rodman. The organization signed The Worm a few weeks into the lockout-shortened season in an effort to add defense, rebounding and experience. Los Angeles went on a 10-game winning streak shortly after Rodman joined the team; however, things quickly soured.
Reports of Rodman constantly throwing parties and showing up late to practice (sometimes without shoes or socks) began to pile up. Just seven weeks after the Lakers brought him in, Rodman was waived and the San Antonio Spurs eventually swept the Lakers in the second round of the 1999 NBA Playoffs.
Dennis had attempted to help the Lakers attain success, but ended up playing in just 23 games. Despite his short stint in LA, he did average 11.2 rebounds in 28.6 minutes at 37 years old.
The seven-time NBA rebounding champion appeared on CBS Sports’ “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter and said that he was fed up with Shaq and Kobe’s bickering, which demotivated him to keep himself in check off the court:
“So I start playing, right, we won 10 games in a row,” Rodman explained. “Ten games in a row when I got there, right? I said, ‘Jerry, I gotta take a break.’ One reason: Shaq and Kobe. I couldn’t deal with those [expletives]. I’m not going to lie to you: I couldn’t deal with them. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m not used to this,’ right? I’m used to winning, but I can’t deal with these [expletives expletive-ing] every [expletive] game. Like, [expletive]. I mean, every, I’m like, [expletive], we’re winning, what? So I go and I say… ‘I’m so used to having calm and serenity and stuff like that.’”
Rodman does not remember his time with the Lakers fondly. He suggested that Shaq and Kobe were a bit too dramatic compared to MJ and Pippen.