Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) (aka The Worm) is one of the greatest rebounders ever to play professional basketball, with five NBA championships under his belt. He’s arguably just as well-known for his off-court antics, and his resume includes stints as an author, an actor, a reality star, a wrestler, and an unofficial diplomat to North Korea.
[Featured photo by Ryan Hartford of Ecliptic Media]
What We Discuss with Dennis Rodman:
- How Dennis went from being a shy, neglected kid to a people-pleasing watch thief to a man who values independence and naysayer-defying personal expression above all else.
- Why the hustle of living as a homeless 19-year-old was more appealing than eating mustard sandwiches in the projects with his family.
- The volatile relationship Dennis has had with the media over the years, and how he decides who’s worthy of his trust (and who’s not) these days.
- Why, given his passing interest in basketball until a late growth spurt made him a contender, Dennis’ self-taught and unique approach to world-class rebounding is particularly surprising.
- Marrying himself, being an early ally to the LBGTQ community, the pros and cons of fame, and risky birthday toasts to Kim Jong-un in North Korea.
- And much more…
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With five NBA championships under his belt and a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame, Dennis Rodman is recognized as a one-of-a-kind rebounder with a unique, self-taught style and intuition that makes him one of the best players in the game. But even to people who don’t follow basketball, “The Worm” is one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world.
In this episode we talk to Dennis about his rough childhood, a people pleasing stunt in his youth that nearly cost him his freedom, being homeless at 19, the late growth spurt that put him on his long and colorful basketball career, being an early advocate of the LBGTQ community in a less enlightened decade, giving a risky toast to North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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THANKS, DENNIS RODMAN!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Bad as I Wanna Be by Dennis Rodman
- Dennis Rodman’s Website
- Dennis Rodman at Instagram
- Dennis Rodman at Facebook
- Dennis Rodman at Twitter
- Detroit Pistons
- Tel-Twelve Mall
- A Close Read of the Pimp Story Dave Chappelle Tells in The Bird Revelation, Vulture
- Pimp: The Story of My Life by Iceberg Slim
- Dennis Rodman: From Airport Janitor to Kim Jong-un’s Friend by Charles Ross, Medium
- Mondrian Los Angeles Hotel
- What Is Almond Milk, and Is It Good or Bad for You? Healthline
- 6 Surprising Benefits of Camel Milk (And 3 Downsides), Healthline
- Isaiah Thomas at Twitter
- Dennis Rodman Cries After Winning Defensive Player of the Year, YouTube
- John Salley at Twitter
- Pearl Jam
- Darren Prince at Instagram
- Drop Zone
- San Antonio Spurs
- Demolition Man
- Icons? Symbolism? Dennis’ Hair? The Chicago Tribune
- As Gay as He Wants to Be / How Rodman’s Drag-Queen Style Plays in the Castro, SF Gate
- Dennis Rodman in a Wedding Dress, Love to Know
- Rodman-Madonna, NBC Sports
- Steven Tyler at Twitter
- 9 Takeaways from ESPN’s Dennis Rodman Documentary, including How Michael Jordan Thought Rodman Wouldn’t See Age 40, The Chicago Tribune
- The Chicago Bulls
- Dennis Rodman Meets His Father, Philander Rodman, After 42 Years of Separation, Yahoo! Sports
- Rodman: For Better or Worse, 30 for 30 4.24
- Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang
- Dennis Rodman, Who Hangs with Trump and Kim, Says Korea Peace Deal ‘Could Still Work’, Reuters
- Kenneth Bae, Longest-Held U.S. Prisoner of North Korea, Reveals Details of Ordeal, The New York Times
- This White Kid Could Tell Bird about Rodman’s Brotherly Love, The Chicago Tribune
- A Long Way from Home, Sports on Earth
- Here’s How Dennis Rodman Broke His Penis Three Different Times, Vice
Transcript for Dennis Rodman | The Worm Is Back (Episode 258)
Dennis Rodman: [00:00:00] There was a time where I contemplated on going on the other side of the road. I thought about that. We all have the option and the freedom to do anything we want. Like they say, curiosity killed the cat. If you want to go there, go there. If you don't want to go there, don't go over there. You see, I was very proud of it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:17] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant and interesting people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you.
[00:00:34] Today, a basketball player with five championship rings among many other awards, who dated Madonna, married himself before joining the NBA Hall of Fame, and has made news headlines for his wild antics which include heading to North Korea to hangout with Kim Jong-un. I'm not even sure where to start with today's guest, The Worm, Mr. Dennis Rodman. This is a guy who quit basketball in high school when he was 5' 9", that's shorter than me, hits a growth spurt to 6' 8" while homeless, by the way, decides to play, and becomes one of the greatest players of all time.
[00:01:08] His origin story though is a different case entirely. His sisters dressed him up as a woman. As kids, he was bullied all the time. Today's show is a tale of one of the most iconic and unique characters in America. It's a story of hardship and heartbreak of opportunity and of victory. I mean, what can I say? It's Dennis Rodman. Let's get into it. And by the way, how did I meet Dennis Rodman? Through my network. And I'm teaching you how to network for both personal and professional reasons. Get after it. Six-Minute Networking is at jordanharbinger.com/course and it's free. By the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course and the newsletter. So come join us and you'll be in great company. In the meantime, here is Dennis Rodman. Enjoy this. This one is a little crazy,
[00:01:56] But yeah, I grew up watching you play for Detroit and we all had Rodman jerseys in Boy Scouts, and we played basketball after the meeting. Where did you live out there actually?
Dennis Rodman: [00:02:05] I lived in Bloomfield Hills.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:05] Oh, okay. I lived in Troy.
Dennis Rodman: [00:02:07] Right there by Tel-Twelve Mall.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:11] Yeah.
Dennis Rodman: [00:02:11] Right, right down the street.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:13] Okay. What was your favorite restaurant while you were out there?
Dennis Rodman: [00:02:15] Ginopolis' .
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:19] Ginopolis'.
Dennis Rodman: [00:02:19] It's on 12 Mile.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:20] So you said in your book, don't let what other people think decide who you are. It sounds like you've decided to more or less live your life by that.
Dennis Rodman: [00:02:28] Right. I have to. I think a lot of people do that now. In the 21st century, a lot of people try to have independent minds. They try to speak freely and try to have a different reason and different voice around the world now. So basically everybody's trying to pay attention to what they're doing and not what's going on around the world. So I've been doing this for like 30 years. Now, it's coming to the light and the fact is that people are actually following that lead for some reason.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:49] Well, I think, now people are wise to the idea, especially people who are in the spotlight, that there's money to be made by controlling other people's behavior. I mean that's what social media does. You know Dave Chappelle? I mean, he bounced.
Dennis Rodman: [00:03:02] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:02] And when you ask him about that story, he tells you about Iceberg Slim. You ever see that clip?
Dennis Rodman: [00:03:08] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:08] He talks about Iceberg Slim and how he used to control women as a pimp. And he's like, I can't say it directly, but "Here's the story about how pimps operate and that's why I went to Africa." And it's like you have to be free, but it's not something that comes naturally to most of us, I think.
Dennis Rodman: [00:03:23] Oh, definitely. I think Instagram and social media give people a lot of outlets to try to voice their opinion because you hide behind technology. If you speak as far as visual, it's a different story because people change their frame of thought when you talk face to face. What you do in technology, it's easy to do one thing. Put an image out there and people seem to believe it until they see your face. When you have the ability to reach the people, but you got to reach them in very sincere way, in a very visual way, in a very caring way. It's very difficult to really communicate what people are doing in the internet and social media, but I guess that's the way the world works now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:59] I know you're up in your social media. People can't see it right now, but there's like eight-plus people in here staring at us right now and taking videos and pictures, counting the person who's making sure you don't--[crosstalk].
Dennis Rodman: [00:04:13] Keeping me alive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:13] That's right. Dennis Rodman, influencer hashtagging. I know you said you don't remember much of your childhood. Your father left when you were three. You, yourself said, "I became very needy and very shy." Obviously that's changed.
Dennis Rodman: [00:04:27] I changed a lot. Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:27] But you still got the sunglasses.
Dennis Rodman: [00:04:31] Always.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:31] What's up with the sunglasses?
Dennis Rodman: [00:04:32] I love them, man. You know, sometimes it has the effect that you don't really want to see people the way they are.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:38] What do you mean by that?
Dennis Rodman: [00:04:38] I learned this the hard way years ago. I started wearing sunglasses because I've seen too many people lie to my face. So I'm wearing sunglasses just to show me how to look at people with how they really are. So I really don't try to communicate visual-wise. I can hear this all day long. But you know, most of the time when people talk to you face to face, it's pretty much some bullshit. If you hear people that's telling by caring and stuff like that, you can understand that, but 99% of the time when people talk to you about business, about this or that, most of the time they're trying to get information from you or they're trying to sit there, trying to refuel from you and try to use that against you. And the world has been coming like that these days because a lot of people are sitting there will take ideas from you now, and spit in your face and then the next day, they'll sit there trying to be your friend, and that's the way the world is working now. You know people don't really care about people no more. It about individual shit now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:27] When did you come to that realization?
Dennis Rodman: [00:05:30] That's been there for a long time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:31] Yeah.
Dennis Rodman: [00:05:31] Just now, I'm having a voice of reason, and people are actually listening to me now because no one has ever heard me speak like that. People hear me playing basketball, people hear me going to North Korea, people hear me doing all this other stuff, but people don't ever hear me speak out to anything. So now it's more like, okay, great, now it's time for me to come out and say real cool shit that people can relate to. I think ever since I built that whole image about me being free, independent, doing this, doing that, people will say "Let's listen to the voice of all what he's been doing all these years." Now people are already saying, "Wow, we never knew that, Dennis, that you do all this, that you say all this."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:04] That you had any depth? Yeah.
Dennis Rodman: [00:06:05] That I have any depth. They thought I'm just this wild party guy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:08] Yeah. Well you do have that reputation.
Dennis Rodman: [00:06:10] Reputation, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:12] Yeah. Back in the day, you started off as a janitor at an airport, and this whole sort of incident where you decided to grab some watches. You just gave them away to your friends. You'd stole watches from some, I don't know, Hudson News or whatever, and you gave them away to your friends. That wasn't you needed the money, that wasn't anything, but it sounded like maybe people pleasing a little bit.
Dennis Rodman: [00:06:33] That's pretty much what it was. You know, like I said, when you don't have friends in the projects or the ghetto and you try to sit there and make people happy, that's when, okay great, and you see other people doing things that you want to do, and you just like a see monkey, do monkey. You know, you see monkeys doing something, you want to engage. And so basically that's what happened to me. I got caught up in that whole system there as well as like, "They're doing it, why can't I do it?" So I did it. Stole some watches. I think I stole like 50, 55. Never came to my mind to sell them. You know, I just wanted to give them away to my friends in school, so I did that. Gave them away in school, and next thing you know, knock on the door, cops, dah, dah, dah. I didn't expect that. Being dumb and naive, I didn't know they had cameras in the airport.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:14] At the airports.
Dennis Rodman: [00:07:14] You know, I thought, it's like, "Okay this is free shit. Okay, let's take them all! Okay, great."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:20] They're not going to notice.
Dennis Rodman: [00:07:21] They're not going to notice you. They said dumb criminals, right? I'm one of them. So they took me to jail and luckily for me, they went to my high school, and they got all the watches back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:32] Oh, that's so lucky because they dropped the charges. I wondered why they dropped the charges.
Dennis Rodman: [00:07:35] They dropped the charges so--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:35] Yeah. Did that scare the crap out of you? That would scare me, being in jail at that age.
Dennis Rodman: [00:07:39] Well, I was in airport jail, not the real jail. They took me all the way to the airport jail and I was in a small jail with this other guy. I think I was 18. You see the images, that mugshot, frail little kid, right there, like that. Never been to jail, in trouble, all of a sudden that's lost now. And then when I got out of the jail, my mother had no money to get me out. She said "You've got to stay in there because I have no money." I'm like, "Shit!" So I'm in jail for a few days. She scraped up some money and sold some things, dah, dah, dah. As I was walking up to the courthouse, the steps, the lawyer came down, they dropped the charges and then after that, when they dropped the charges, we're driving home, my mother said, "Well, I've got to put you out because you're not working. Take that, dumb shit!" Don't go to jail, drop the charges, got to be in the streets. Okay, great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:23] Yeah. Your mom was like, "All right, you're out." She throws you out, you're sleeping in the park, behind the 7-Eleven sleeping at friends' places. You're literally homeless at this point.
Dennis Rodman: [00:08:33] Oh, yep.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:33] What was that time like for you?
Dennis Rodman: [00:08:34] I thought it was cool, but it wasn't cool at that time, but I started to get so used to it. I get up, do some like needed chores and stuff like that. Like I washed cars for like two or three bucks, go to 7-Eleven, packed some boxes, throw the trash or something like that for five bucks. I was like getting used to it. I was like happy as fuck. I was happy as hell. I could see my friends every day. We'll play ball every day. That was my vice right there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:57] How old were you at that time?
Dennis Rodman: [00:08:59] 19.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:59] 19. Did you think, "All right, I'm not going to be homeless forever, so this is--
Dennis Rodman: [00:09:03] I didn't see that part.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:04] You didn't see that part.
Dennis Rodman: [00:09:04] I couldn't think that far.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:05] You thought, "Maybe this is my life from here out."
Dennis Rodman: [00:09:09] Well, I thought the fact that when I watched sports, I watched track and field, and every time I watched track and field, I would see guys running like the hurdles or like doing the 100-yard dash, stuff like that. And I watched that, I'd go outside and try to emulate that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:20] So you're doing sprints in the 7-Eleven parking lot?
Dennis Rodman: [00:09:23] I do pretty much. Everywhere I went, I just start to try to emulate what I saw on TV and stuff like that. I started visualizing, saying, "Man, I wish I can do that," and I'd just go out there and do it. It never came to my mind that I was going to come out to be like this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:35] Well, I don't think anybody could envision that at that point.
Dennis Rodman: [00:09:39] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:39] What were you trying to do? Become a track and field athlete or something like that?
Dennis Rodman: [00:09:42] No, I just liked what they were doing. You know, that seemed fun to do since I was like a hyper kid anyways. So I like to run all the time like most kids do, like to run and just be crazy. But I didn't want to do something accomplishing, like sports-wise. I love sports. I didn't watch basketball at all. I watched football.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:57] You didn't even watch basketball? You watched football. Wow. Do you think your experience being homeless makes it easier for you to relate to other people going through a hard time?
Dennis Rodman: [00:10:05] Not really easy for me to relate because I was when I was living in the projects and when you don't have food on the table and you have to sit there and wonder why we're eating pork and beans, mayonnaise sandwich, and then mustard sandwich, and bullshit like that. You see, you might as well put your hand in between the sandwich and eat the fucking thing. Right? What the hell? So that's how I look at it. It's so fortunate I can sit there and think about those times and get emotional about it and like be happy. I'm in this position, but I still got that whole history of why I became Dennis Rodman because, hey, I can go dig with those people. I can go vibe with these people all day long. I can drop the fucking image, I can drop the fucking lifestyle, I can drop the fucking stardom. I can go back over there and be just right at home. So simple shit.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:47] Yeah. Mustard sandwich beginnings. I know. I think it was Phil Jackson, former Bulls coach, who said you have a masochistic streak. And there's a bit of tape where you said, I'm just trying to get people to like me.
Dennis Rodman: [00:11:00] Yeah, pretty much.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:00] Yeah. How long was that a factor in your life? How long did you live like that to get other people to like you?
Dennis Rodman: [00:11:07] I just lived the course. I think about that pretty much all the time. You know, it's more like I'm not acceptable to people because I'm different because I'm doing things that are different. People will portray me to be this different person. And I built this image because I want people to like me, which I didn't. I just did it because I wanted to and I told some people, I said, I built this image in a way where people can say, "Oh, that's Dennis. You know, that's just Dennis." You know, they don't trip on and say, oh my god, he did this. No! They say, oh, that's just Dennis. Now, when you see what I was doing then and now, people actually like me because I'm actually real. My heart is always up here. People, they see that; they see right through it, say, "Wow, this is cool."
[00:11:49] But it's like when I see things today, people now, when they start doing things, they don't think about what's up. They think about, "Okay, great, this as a sign." Then next thing you know, on the flip side, "Oh, my god, I fucked up, I fucked up. What should I do to try to get my image back?" I rebuilt that shit already now. And then people expect me, "Okay, great, that's just Dennis." People got to start trying to take care of their image. I didn't. I build that all up to okay, great. And the things that I was doing wasn't bad. It was just out of the norm at that time. And now since time has changed, now we're here, you see people fucking up, and then all of a sudden now people are sitting here taking that fucking mistake that people are doing and driving home so hard. But the person that did the mistake, they don't know what the fuck they do. They lost now. The whole world is against them right now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:34] You're talking about like how the media punishes--
Dennis Rodman: [00:12:36] We punish people. I quit because they want that thrill. Okay, great. Oh, we got you, we got you. And then those same people are sitting there and doing it to people today. they will sit there to kiss their ass when you're doing something good. That's fucked up. I was like, okay, great. So I wear sunglasses because of that bullshit. Your friend one day and then all of a sudden, boom. So you know, this is very difficult to really have a conversation with people today, especially in the media.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:59] We're independent media, so hopefully, we're not a part of that whole thing.
Dennis Rodman: [00:13:03] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:03] How do you know who to trust then? Because I know you got Darren, who's been with you for, is it 23, 24 years now or something like that he's known you?
Dennis Rodman: [00:13:11] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:11] How do you decide who to trust? I mean, it seems like you're in a position where a lot of people want something from you, whether it's also good for you or not is beside the point. How do you know who to pick before 23 years? I mean, you know he's good, but what about new people that you meet?
Dennis Rodman: [00:13:26] I don't really think about that. Whatever people want to offer me today, great. You know, my loyalty is not to people that I meet today. My loyalty is to me to try to figure out what direction I'm going now. People pay me money to do certain things and stuff like that. Friends are cool. Back then, it was more like I was in a party mode the whole time. I didn't give a fuck. I don't give a damn on what's going on. I'm just like, hey, let's go do this. Let's go do this. You know, so when a party is over, you'll know who's who. And even then I know who's who.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:54] Yeah. It seems like you probably by now you've got enough friends, right? You don't need to go out and make new friends at a hotel or whatever.
Dennis Rodman: [00:14:01] Like the Mondrian.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:02] Yes. For example! Filmed at the Mondrian.
Dennis Rodman: [00:14:04] Filmed at the Mondrian.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:04] Thanks to the Mondrian Hotel where nobody's making any friends. I know you've said you're never focused on anything early in life, right? Obviously you turned that around. I mean you focused on basketball, you focused on everything else. I'm wondering how that turned around because, I mean, the racism, the trauma that you experienced in Durant, Oklahoma before you played college ball. It seems like it's enough to bother anyone and it's actually traumatizing to hear how people treated you back then. In 30 for 30, I was checking that out. Do you think that might've contributed to those feelings that you had about maybe I don't belong anywhere.
Dennis Rodman: [00:14:36] No, I really didn't look at color at all. When I went to Durant, Oklahoma University. I didn't really look at color. I didn't look at black, white, whatever. I just thought people were people and we got along. And even today, I don't look at color. Look what's happening down El Paso, look what's happening in Memphis, look what's happening around the world. You know, Hispanic people are always sitting there and blaming Donald Trump for some bullshit. Of course Donald Trump's got this mouth on him. He'll say anything in the world and all of a sudden, these Hispanics that are delivering a lot of good vibes for the world, especially in America, we need these immigrants. Well, Donald Trump made some mistakes, "We should ship these fuckers back, dah, dah, dah." These guys retaliate, oh my god damn. For me, I don't care who you are. You'd be in North Korea, South Korea, Asia, Japan, Africa, this-this, Australia. I don't care. I just want to relate to everybody. Get along with everybody. We're all human beings. It don't matter what the situation with politics. I don't care. I just want to fit in.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:25] I know that nobody really taught you how to rebound or score or anything. You kind of learned that, but where, where did you learn how to play if you didn't play until college? You just learn in college?
Dennis Rodman: [00:15:35] No, I just learned all this when I was staying in the projects. I used to leave my house every day. I used to watch my mother and my stepfather sell Coke everyday to people in the projects. I kept going. I'll get my tennis shoes, put them on my shoulder. I'll run down to the park. I jumped the fence. I love doing that, jumped the fence. Then run to the park, where all the other guys stuff. I put my shoes and start playing ball. That's how I learn how to play.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:57] So nobody ever taught you like all these ball handling drills.
Dennis Rodman: [00:16:01] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:01] When you must have gotten to college and you're like, wow, these other guys, they got a certain way of doing things and I'm just playing street ball.
Dennis Rodman: [00:16:06] But I was just there to play ball. I didn't know what drills or layups and stuff like that mean. I just play ball.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:11] Was basketball the first thing you remember being good at?
Dennis Rodman: [00:16:14] Yup.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:14] I mean that makes sense because if you grew up in those rough circumstances, maybe not a whole lot of sunshine.
Dennis Rodman: [00:16:19] Yeah. You can't be good at jacks.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:22] At what? Jacks?
Dennis Rodman: [00:16:22] You can't be good at jacks. Oh, one, two, three, two. I'm mean you can't be good at that. That's not going anywhere. So if I were game out these, that's probably like an Olympic game.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:32] Yeah. The money and professional jacks these days.
Dennis Rodman: [00:16:35] No, it sucks.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:36] Pales in comparison to the NBA, yeah. When you were on the Pistons, almost no ego, right? You're jumping into the stands, you're jumping in, throwing the ball back to teammates. There's none of this like camera hugging and ball hugging, nothing. You're just doing the work.
Dennis Rodman: [00:16:48] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:49] In fact, work that's kind of dirty, doesn't necessarily lead to big contracts and it doesn't necessarily lead to a lot of glory and led to this bad boys mentality and the-us-against-the-world era. Is it true you never drank when you were in Detroit? People say that.
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:02] No, I never drank at all. I didn't start drinking until I was 33.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:05] John Salley, I think it was, said you'd go to a club and order milk.
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:09] I did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:09] Are we talking skim milk?
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:10] No, it was just milk.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:10] Now it's almond milk because you got that paper.
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:13] Almond milk is kind of dangerous for you right now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:13] It is? I didn't know that.
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:16] Well, you just look it up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:17] I'll do that after the show. What's dangerous about almond milk?
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:19] I have no clue.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:21] Okay.
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:21] It's like camel milk, right? You ever drink camel milk?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:23] Camel milk. I don't know--
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:25] It's supposed to be healthy for you! Yeah, look that up, look it up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:27] Somebody make a note and let me know why almond milk is bad for you.
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:30] It's bad for you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:31] Isaiah Thomas describes you as sweet and innocent. It was charming. Of course, he was talking about the Pistons days. I don't know if you guys are still tight, but you're really loved in Detroit from the sound of it. Do you think that was one of the happiest times in your life?
Dennis Rodman: [00:17:43] That was a very good time in my life. I went to a system where they actually really cared about you, especially Detroit, the people in Detroit, good people, man. They have your back. They're very hardworking and up in the real world with those guys.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:57] You're listening to the Jordan harbinger show with our guest, Dennis Rodman. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:02] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. Better Help is online counseling. I love this. This is licensed professional counselors who are specialized in specific issues because a lot of people will go to a general counselor. That's fine. Of course, you know therapy is good, but if you want somebody who specializes in depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, sleep issues, trauma, anger, family stuff, it helps to get somebody who's got a lot of experience in that area. Better Help is like 21st century therapy. You can connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Anything you share is confidential, so that's convenient. You don't have to drive, you don't have to park, you don't have to make an appointment. And then someone's running late and then you're sitting in a waiting room reading Highlights for Children. You can get help at your own time. Not that there's anything wrong with Highlights for Children, to be honest.
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Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:16] Thanks for listening and supporting the show, and to learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard from our amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Don't forget we have a worksheet for today's episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways from Dennis Rodman. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. If you'd like some tips on how to subscribe to the show, just go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Subscribing to the show is absolutely free. It means that you get all of the latest episodes, download it automatically to your podcast player so you don't miss a single thing. And now back to our show with Dennis Rodman.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:52] It was you that said the highlight of my life was the championship. I just love making people happy. And there's this clip of you getting the Defensive Player of the Year Award and crying and I love that clip of you because it's such an authentic reaction. I feel like everybody who gets an award like that kind of wants to react like that, but they have to be tough.
Dennis Rodman: [00:22:11] It just felt so good because I felt like that I worked so hard and I just like, whoa, I got this whole thing, this Defensive Player of the Year Award. It's like I did something and people appreciate it. I thought it was like the Oscar, like, oh my god, this is awesome, man, whoa. And it was like, you know, I said I wanted it so bad because I worked my ass off to get this one award. You know, not the scoring, not assist, not whatever. I just wanted that one. I think that people really appreciated me for that, because I wasn't trying to be the star, I was just trying to just fit in.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:44] You just said you just wanted to fit in and that seems to be like a running theme in your life actually. And the fact that you wanted that award so bad, was there a part of you that felt like you didn't want that attention but the award was fine?
Dennis Rodman: [00:22:56] Yeah, I didn't want the attention. I wanted the award. It's like saying when I'm playing basketball. I had this motto, I say, you know what, I got three hours to really make people happy. Three hours of the 24 hours, I got three hours to make people happy. And 21 hours, this time for me to be happy. And that was very difficult for me to do for a long time, but for me to go out for three hours and see people happy and like really happy and it made me feel that I mean we work harder.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:21] Yeah. Seeing other people happy, make you work harder.
Dennis Rodman: [00:23:25] Make me work harder. So I think that people appreciate it that and it just made me more vibrant, more loose as well as like, yeah. They like it, they like it, they like it. I'm not worried about scoring or anything like that. They like what I'm doing that. Okay, great, I keep doing it because that's what they want. But they care about my safety, they care about what I'm doing. I just love the fact that I'm in free cause, it's not I'm playing for money. I'm playing because I like playing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:47] Yeah. I can't remember who said this, but somebody said you never played the game for money.
Dennis Rodman: [00:23:51] Never did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:52] It might've been Isaiah Thomas or something like that. You said that? Oh yeah, everybody else certainly playing for money. John Salley during the documentary says you found out the hard way that it's a business when everybody was getting traded and sort of the Pistons family split apart and that took a toll on you.
Dennis Rodman: [00:24:07] It did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:07] There's this incident where you go to the Palace of Auburn Hill, the court in Detroit, and you're getting in the parking lot with his gun in your lap, and then you just fall asleep and now you tell the story like it's a metaphor. You killed the old Dennis Rodman, but you didn't need to use the gun. I mean like what do you mean with this story? What happened there?
Dennis Rodman: [00:24:24] I actually didn't know when you write someone a confession note to someone, I think it's more like I was really trying to kill the actual individual. I think you're trying to reach out to somebody and hopefully that someone will find that note, whatever you wrote. And catch it before something really actually happen. My intention was to do that because there was no other way I get out of what I was in. So I just drove over there with a gun and just sat there, and put it on my lap, just sitting and contemplating. It was loaded. So that was then I decided to turn on the radio and it was Pearl Jam playing. The song came up Even Flow, after that Black came on, song Black. I started to listen to them and then all of a sudden while I was listening to the Pearl Jam and then Black come on, I just started to close my eyes and started thinking about...And all of a sudden I fell asleep.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:16] So basically Pearl Jam saved your life.
Dennis Rodman: [00:25:18] Well I wouldn't say that. I think that, you know, at that period of time, I think if anything that kind of cooled the savage beast at the time, I think it would've been another group or another incident got my mind of of trying to commit suicide. But fortunately for me, that was a time right there that did it for me, but like anything in my life, I've always said this quote, I said, "You know what? Somebody has a hand on my shoulders, man, because I've been in so many incidents that I could have been dead quick. Something keeps pulling me back for some reason." For me not committing to something that's going to be like hanging myself, jumping off a building, jumping in front of a railroad track, putting a gun to my head, putting a knife to my throat. I've thought of all this bullshit. I thought all those reasons on how to do that. Well, for some reason, someone was really rooting me back, keep me here grounded on planet earth because I ain't done yet. I got things to fucking do. I'm believing it more and more every day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:09] Do you still think about taking yourself out sometimes? Do you still think about that?
Dennis Rodman: [00:26:13] Well, I think about certain things like that, but you know, I visualized the fact that, I think I'm a superhuman because of what has transpired in my life to now. I was, I mean, me and my girl, I gave her this one quote, I said, "You know, what do think if I dive out off a plane, no parachute, look up to God, and hope that he catches me, and I want to see my life flash in front of me. What do you think there'd be somebody to catch me?" I've been thinking about that, I've been thinking about for a long time to just jump off a plane, no parachute, and just dive out, and watch my life flash in front of me. What did I do wrong? How can I fix this? How can I be happy? And hope that there's somebody catches me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:46] When's the last time you thought about it?
Dennis Rodman: [00:26:49] I don't know probably like a week ago.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:50] A week ago. Do you feel up and down or it just crosses through your mind?
Dennis Rodman: [00:26:53] I think it was just more like an energy that rush through me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:55] Well, I hope, Darren Prince is keeping a good eye on you, your agent.
Dennis Rodman: [00:26:58] Well, I didn't give you the part two of that whole thing. [indiscernible] I'm going to have two other planes up there with guys with parachute. I hope when I jump off the plane, they'll come get me. That's the whole key.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:08] Somebody's been watching Dropzone, too many other movies.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:11] Okay make sure they've done that before. I'm not sure how easy that is. All right. So after that you go to San Antonio by all accounts, you're going kind of crazy, right? This is the Rodman that everybody has seen in the media...The blonde hair, which you still have now, kind of. Is there a part of you that maybe felt too vulnerable in Detroit and you decided to maybe cover that up or change that when you went to San Antonio?
Dennis Rodman: [00:27:36] Well, I didn't ask to do this, to change my hair. I didn't ask for that. I just went to San Antonio with an attitude. The fact of it is I finally knew the business and went in with an attitude. I didn't care about nobody. I was just going to play basketball. I told everybody to fuck off whatever. I'm doing my job. That's it. And I just went to the mall and this guy said, "Let me dye your hair," and he dyed my hair in blonde. I went to the movies that was fucking Demolition Man--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:57] Demolition Man. All right.
Dennis Rodman: [00:27:59] I didn't expect that. And I go to Alamodome with 30,000 people, Appreciation Day for the Spurs. They asked me, "Dennis, you want to say something? I said, "Hey, like me or you can hate me, but I'm here to play ball and kick ass." I took my hat off and then my whole transformation, what I was doing, came to life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:13] Yeah, you popped out of that cocoon.
Dennis Rodman: [00:28:15] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:16] Demolition Man. Is that the one where Wesley Snipes had blonde hair?
Dennis Rodman: [00:28:19] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:19] So you're like, ah, I'm going to pull a Wesley Snipes.
Dennis Rodman: [00:28:21] Well, I didn't say that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:22] You would know.
Dennis Rodman: [00:28:22] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:22] You wouldn't say that?
Dennis Rodman: [00:28:24] I wouldn't say that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:24] No. You pay your taxes.
Dennis Rodman: [00:28:25] Well, I try to. I try to.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:29] On the outside it starts to look like confidence. You get that swagger, maybe a different kind of swagger than you had in Detroit. On the inside though, did it feel like confidence or were you still trying to find yourself in some ways?
Dennis Rodman: [00:28:39] I would just going on with the flow. I was going with the transition at the time. I have no thoughts about being a bad boy. I have no thought about being a rebel or me against the world. No, I was just going out there doing the Dennis. I didn't have a trait. I didn't have no desire to be an image or anything. No. I was just going into playing ball, doing it my way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:59] So the whole personal brand thing came after that. You were just doing what came to mind.
Dennis Rodman: [00:29:03] What came to mind. But the whole secret about that, the whole vision about that, I didn't know that I was building a brand. Back then people didn't think about that brand and stuff like that. I was building a brand as I was doing this. All of a sudden you're walking around town or you go to a restaurant, you're seeing people with colored hair, piercing, tattoos. I'm like, damn, people--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:22] Yeah, you were tatted up before everybody else.
Dennis Rodman: [00:29:25] Right, tatted up, piercings, blonde hair, doing all crazy stuff, dressing in drag, going on drag clubs, and then some gay clubs stuff, I was doing everyday like that. People didn't get used to that in the beginning, especially in San Antonio.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:37] Oh yeah, yeah. [crosstalk]
Dennis Rodman: [00:29:40] I was wearing like a halter tops, I was wearing like dress in drag, makeup, and stuff like that. And they got a hold of me. Then they asked me, Dennis, what are doing out there? I said nothing, having fun.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:49] Yeah, I mean, I will say you don't get enough credit for that. You don't get enough credit for that because early on you were one of the earliest supporters of, I don't even know what you would call it now, LGBT awareness.
Dennis Rodman: [00:30:01] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:01] And you were one of the first high profile allies. I mean, didn't you put...Was it the AIDS ribbon in your hair?
Dennis Rodman: [00:30:06] Yeah, I sure did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:06] Nobody was talking about that.
Dennis Rodman: [00:30:07] Nobody talked about that at all. I think nobody knew what it really actually mean, but nobody even talked about that. I did it. I did it for a couple of times. I did it. You know, I did in Chicago, I did it in San Antonio and nobody even asked me what that mean. I said, okay, great. You don't know what it means. I didn't elaborate it at all. I thought, you know, just, I'll put that somewhere there. So I just represented my gay community. That was it. The gay community knew what it was.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:33] Yeah. It seems like back then it was really revolutionary because there were people that weren't even talking about that in the media, tons of people were in the closet. Like back then, even Prince was straight. But I don't know, he might have been, he flip-flopped a lot.
Dennis Rodman: [00:30:47] Right, he did! Yeah, I mean it was, it was very difficult for any athletes to try to come out in the closet. I mean, it was difficult then. As I'm speaking today and as I sit and analyze myself every day when I sit on the balcony at home, at hotel or something like that, I sit there and ask myself and say, wow, what would I have done back then if I were told someone that I was gay, playing in NBA, what would I would have done? And i'm saying to myself, today's self, I said, wow, if I was gay and I told the world I was gay, it'd would be the most shocking news on a planet.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:23] Well, you do have glittery painted nails, but maybe it might not have been totally shocking.
Dennis Rodman: [00:31:28] Well, I have been painting my nails back then too, but what I'm saying it would have been shocking back then because people didn't realize that there was a great basketball player, athlete in the world that's gay, actively gay. If I was gay playing in the NBA and people would be like, whoa. Imagine how they react today compared to how they would react back then.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:48] 25 years ago.
Dennis Rodman: [00:31:50] That would be whoa. That would be like ah-ah. They can have that ah-ah. I mean, wow, if I was gay, I'd probably be a fucking clown, showing the world, okay, great...People look at you different, but guess what? As long as you're performing, people will get used to it. They'll get use to, okay, great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:09] Yeah. He's gay, but he had a 85th 37 points, so we're fine with it.
Dennis Rodman: [00:32:12] We're fine with it, we're fine with it. Right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:12] It turns out, that's the secret.
Dennis Rodman: [00:32:16] All right. We like vitamins, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:18] Vitamins, yeah.
Dennis Rodman: [00:32:18] What kind of vitamins, it's like A to Z.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:22] You're feeling vitamin Z right now.
Dennis Rodman: [00:32:26] That's what I'm saying this feels a little bit better.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:27] Good. Yeah. Good. That publicity stunt where you ended up, was it marrying yourself or something like that? Yeah. I mean that is priceless. No wonder Madonna liked you. She was probably like taking notes the whole time about all things you were doing. She was like is that my dress from like a Virgin.
Dennis Rodman: [00:32:41] No. Madonna is like yay tall.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:44] Yeah, probably it wouldn't have fit.
Dennis Rodman: [00:32:45] But anyway, I wasn't dating Madonna at that time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:47] No, I know.
Dennis Rodman: [00:32:48] But I'm saying that when I did that, that was just a spur of the moment. It just came to my head. I said, what can I do to spice up this book signing? And I said, "How about I marry myself?" And I came with this idea, I think, at the Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons in New York. And people were like, "You serious?" I said, "Yeah, why not?" I left the room. I went downstairs to the gym and I bumped into Steven Tyler. He was riding and I was sitting beside him. I threw the idea at him. And I said, Steven, what do think think if I marry myself? He just thought I'm going nuts. Oh my god, really? He said, do it, do it, do it. I said, yeah, I'm planning on doing it. He said that's so great. Coming from you, yes. He says all good.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:26] Michael Jordan was saying, I don't think he's gonna make it to 40. What goes through your mind when you hear your teammates say stuff like that?
Dennis Rodman: [00:33:34] Everybody said that because I was always burning both ends [indiscernible]. I'm like I'll play basketball and I'd go out all night to six o'clock in the morning, try to practice at 10. I actually practice, I was doing it for like three years straight with the Bulls and I function. I was very functionable alcoholic. I worked out a lot, that what really saved me. I worked out so much all day long. They were like Dennis, you won't going to make it to 40. I said, yeah, well I ain't going to die like that. So after the '98 season, I went to Vegas one time at the Mirage Casino. All my friends, we hadn't that...And my friend said, "Dude, look!" I said, "What are you looking at?" He said, "Look at that shit...what do you call that, where you bet on sports?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:08] I don't know what that's called.
Dennis Rodman: [00:34:08] "Your name is up there." I said, "Oh, shit my name is up there." I went up and asked the guy, "Why is my name up there?" "People have been betting on you that you won't make it to 40." Like, "Really?"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:21] Oh wow, Vegas. What were the odds? Do you remember the odds?
Dennis Rodman: [00:34:27] I don't know, but "There's people betting that you won't make it to 40." I was like, "Oh, my god. But that's cool!"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:31] That was your reaction?
Dennis Rodman: [00:34:31] That was my reaction! "That's cool, man. Great!" So. I'm here now. I'm 49.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:37] You should have placed a bet. You could've made some money.
Dennis Rodman: [00:34:39] I could have made some money! It was funny. I said, "God damn, really? People think that I'm that bad?" And people get this misconception about me. They think I'm doing drugs like heavily cocaine and acid and heroin and stuff like that. I only drink alcohol and that's about it, not some bad drug. You know, I was really doing it, partying hard, you know, stuff like that in Vegas. But, I slowed down for a minute. Now, I've got my shit together. And I think we had 50, people said I was going to die at 50.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:05] And here we are.
Dennis Rodman: [00:35:05] I do have a quote, I say you know what, there's one thing that I'm not going to die from is alcohol. I don't do that. I'll make sure that won't happen.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:13] Yeah. I guess that's the victory, right? When you're sober, it's like--
Dennis Rodman: [00:35:17] Yes, I'm sober. I can't promise people that I'm going be sober the rest of my life. This is not my intention to be sober now. I just want to get back on the right path. See, that's one direction I want to go. See on this side of the fucking lifestyle lives. That's what I'm doing right now. I'm trying to make sure that it's just the right way for me to do it and live a cool. Or should I call back and do this other guy again? See so you know that's options up to me. It's up to everybody whatever you do in life. The option is there, so I'm just seeing if this this is working out pretty well and let's see how far I can go with this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:52] I know your dad who had bounced, I guess when you were three, showed up to a game once, and you said it, it fucked me up. How do you process that? I mean that was a weird time for him to show up, right?
Dennis Rodman: [00:36:03] No, I figured he'd show up because he got 29 kids from the Philippines.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:07] And his name is Philander. Talk about living out your name.
Dennis Rodman: [00:36:09] I don't know dude. I just have no clue how he got that name. Philander. A proper name, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:13] Yeah.
Dennis Rodman: [00:36:13] They actually showed up at the practice facility. I was coming in, I was a little late. I was like five minutes late for practice. I was trying to get into the gate and this black guy who runs up to my truck, he's knocking to my windows. I said, what do you want, man? You know, I just want to tell you, Dennis, I'm your father. I said, great. I said, you're going to have to wait, I'm late for practice. So I didn't really pay attention to that bullshit.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:34] Did you even believe it?
Dennis Rodman: [00:36:35] Oh, hell, no. I thought it was just another fan trying to be fucking cute. So I went in there, we played the game and the fourth quarter starts and some of the guys said, Dennis, look up there. And I said, why? That guy says he is your father. He is up there signing autographs and doing interviews and stuff. I said, oh great, thanks. I didn't know. I didn't care what he was doing. After the game, I didn't even see him. I didn't want him to come back into the locker room. So that's when I saw him pretty much to the Philippines.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:58] That's crazy. Unbelievable. And then 30 for 30 documentary, there's tape where you actually cry and lament being famous. And it seems like you didn't actually really like it that much, but you were kind of addicted to it maybe at that time.
Dennis Rodman: [00:37:12] I didn't like being famous.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:13] You didn't like it?
Dennis Rodman: [00:37:14] I didn't like it. I didn't like it because, if you asked one of my guys that did security for me, he would always say, "Go on in and take your time," then lock the door behind me. He knows --because I'd cry -- roll down on the ground and start crying. I'd tell myself, "I don't want to be famous. I don't want to be this. I don't want to be that." And I try to get myself together. I'm by myself in the boys' locker room. Everybody's gone, I'm by myself, and I'm just looking up. I was like, damn man, shit. Try to compose myself. And those guys understood. They'll tell you the story if you haven't heard this that he didn't want to do all that, he just want to have fun and just play and stuff like that. And it was just one of those things where it was cool for me to do that all the time, to let that out, to keep me humble. That this does not going last forever. It's more like I just want to be this regular guy who go out to the bars and hang out with the locals and be me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:05] When you see Isaiah Thomas in 30 for 30, he's crying and he's saying you're in Chicago, you're clearly looking for help, but nobody's helping you. When you see his emotions like that, I mean, do you agree, you know, in retrospect, where you looking for help? Did you feel isolated and alone at that point?
Dennis Rodman: [00:38:21] I think Isaiah probably know me better than anybody as far as playing in the NBA. I think he was one guy that took me under his wing and it helped me grow as an individual and as a person. I think he has the most heartfelt for me because he knows the things I was going through those six, seven years that I was in Detroit. He was the only one who really was there for me besides Peter Ginoplis, his dad, his family, and Nancy and her family. But he was there for me 24/7. I think that's where the attachment between me and him comes from. He actually really cared about me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:50] He still does from the look of it. I mean, he still does. I think it was at the end. You said I'm one of the top 10 most recognizable people on the planet.
Dennis Rodman: [00:38:58] I am. I am. That's a true statement.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:02] I think for sure now. I mean, and then you ask yourself, I should be happy. Right? I mean at some point did you think fame would make you happy?
Dennis Rodman: [00:39:09] Well, I use that as a fact, yes, I probably want to be the recognizable people on the planet. Yeah, the top 10 but it's like that's actually a fucking curse as well. Like I'd rather have the money than fame any day, but you're money sucks too. So I'd rather just be a local guy, wear shorts, flip flops, go to the fucking beach and have a cigar, maybe have a drink or two. And just live with my friends around.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:33] I mean, you can do that now.
Dennis Rodman: [00:39:35] I can do that now, but it's just very difficult for me to do it because no matter where you go, like go downstairs. If people want to take pictures, go down the street and people will take pictures. I mean, it's never ending. Not to say that I don't like it, but it's more like damn.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:48] Just tell him you're Wesley Snipes and people be like, ah, and just walk away.
Dennis Rodman: [00:39:52] Then walk away.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:52] Yeah, I don't want a picture now,
Dennis Rodman: [00:39:54] But I like interacting with my fans and people that like me. I like doing that, like socialize with people. I love it. Like being cool with people. I'm just saying I don't want my picture taken but I love people, being around them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:06] Was in your memory, the happiest time in your life?
Dennis Rodman: [00:40:09] The happiest time. Let's see. The happiest time, I would say a lot of it, but they all turned to shit. So I can say a lot. I haven't. I say, well, I had my first child, but that didn't turn out too fucking well. So that went fucking move over there. I can say, winning a championship, that didn't work out too fucking well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:31] Why not?
Dennis Rodman: [00:40:32] Because things change. Nothing happens the same. So winning championship with Chicago, that was pretty cool. I dunno, it's a difficult question to answer. I think that down the road I could probably can answer that. Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:45] It seems like part of the problem with you remembering what time is happiest in your life, is that it? You're worried that the stability is not there, that it's going to be taken away from you somehow or that it's going to disappear somehow?
Dennis Rodman: [00:40:56] No, I just think that I have so much to offer. I just got to wait and decide how I can dissect my life and try to pinpoint what was the turning point to make me satisfied to keep living every day. That's what I'm waiting for.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:10] What do you think that will look like?
Dennis Rodman: [00:41:12] I have no fucking clue.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:13] You have no clue.
Dennis Rodman: [00:41:13] I have no damn clue. I'm clueless. I'm so thankful and grateful that I can actually do that and it keeps me moving and grooving everyday. Now
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:24] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Dennis Rodman. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:29] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:32] We've had guests on the show from Jaron Lanier to Cal Newport to Daniel Goleman, extol the benefits of ditching or at least cutting back on social media, but after relying on it for so long, you might be wondering how you could possibly stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues you've made over the years without it. Sure. You could write letters by hand, make telephone calls, send singing telegrams like people did in the olden times, but we've got a better idea. Build your own website. Sound daunting, complicated, expensive. Don't worry. HostGator ensures you don't have to have a degree in programming, an eye for design, or the bank account of a Rockefeller to make it happen. In just minutes, you can pick an appealing domain name with the help of HostGator's intuitive interface. Get your website running and share it with the people in your life. You really want to stay in touch with. HostGator is 99.9% uptime guarantee and around-the-clock support ensures your website is available to the eyes of the world every day and night of the year. You've got a tight budget. No worries. As long as you're a new user, you get to try any HostGator package for up to 62% off the normal price, just for hearing the sound of my voice. And if you're not completely satisfied with everything HostGator has to offer, you've got 45 days to cancel for a refund of every last penny. Check out hostgator.com/jordan right now to sign up. That's hostgator.com/jordan.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:24] I was in North Korea with you. I don't know if you caught that downstairs. You're eating part of your salad now. I was like let's leave the guy alone. But I was in North Korea. I spotted you. We were in one of those...I don't know...Mandatory museums you got to sign in and everything because we didn't know who you were. And my friend goes is that Dennis Rodman? And I was like of course not. Why would Dennis Rodman be here? And then we look in the book where we sign in and my friend's like that says Dennis Rodman on the paper. So we signed our names right next to yours and took...somebody got a picture of it somewhere. But to run into you in North Korea was just definitely was something else. I know you gave a toast to Kim Jong-un, and you said something like your father and grandfather did some fucked up shit, but you're making a change. Your entire entourage must've just like clenched up everything at that point.
Dennis Rodman: [00:47:11] It was funny though, because I'll give a toast to him to his birthday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:16] To Kim Jong-un?
Dennis Rodman: [00:47:16] Kim Jong-un, he was sitting right beside. I stood up and said that fucking thing, you know, the fuck you just said. But they clapped. But he's trying to make a change. I said that and I actually meant it and he really didn't get offended to it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:35] What was he like? What was Kim Jong-un like? Just personally?
Dennis Rodman: [00:47:38] He was cool to me. I mean, he was fine. We ate very well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:41] I'm sure.
Dennis Rodman: [00:47:41] We ate very well. We had like nine-course meals every fucking meal. Okay you want a duck, bring it on. You want a cow, bring it on. You want a chicken, bring it on. I mean everything you want. It was right and it's like the whole table.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:53] What was the weirdest thing that you guys did? Because it must have been like normal, normal, normal. Okay. But where in North Korea. There must have been a point where you were like did he just say shoot, rocket launch it? Like there must have been something weird that happened partying with Kim Jong-un.
Dennis Rodman: [00:48:05] We never talked about politics. We never talked about politics. We never talked about the starvation in North Korea. I'm trying to cut you on that one. We never talked about the military, which I saw a lot of that stuff, which I didn't care, it was more like entertainment. We never really got in depth with the politics of North Korea and America. We never talked about that. That's never been brought up. We just talked about life and sports and skiing, snowboarding in North Korea. We talked about stuff like that every day. When something new come up, we'll go play horse, we'll go ride horses, stuff like that. We have clips of North Korean people praising Dennis Rodman. I mean, I'll go to an orphanage in North Korea and these people will put a show for me. You see all the dignitaries over here, sitting over here, I'm sitting in a chair by myself. Everybody sitting around and the kids will come out and put on a performance for me. People never saw that. I've got footage of that. You go to a state and you've got 160,000 people and then clapping to you and saying your name. I've never seen that. And you're on the stage by yourself and 160,000 is in there clapping to you. I never saw that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:07] That's great.
Dennis Rodman: [00:49:07] When you go to the hospital, people said they're glad you're here. Glad you're here, glad you're here. People don't see that and that part right there...I was trying to relate that back to America. So do you know these people are not bad, they just don't know. They're not sheltered, but they just don't know. I wasn't trying to convey it. Okay, great, I'm going to go back and try to prove the fact that North Korea is great, even though I'm finding it's a fucking losing battle. And I just made it clear the fact that I want to bring sports to North Korea. I want to communicate that way, to open door that way. So you know, people won't be afraid to go North Korea. It's okay to go there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:42] When are you going to go back?
Dennis Rodman: [00:49:43] Well Donald Trump opening gate.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:46] Let me in now.
Dennis Rodman: [00:49:47] Now, let me in. I would say Donald Trump, he won't open the gate back up because of me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:52] You don't think Donald Trump will open up North Korea because of you.
Dennis Rodman: [00:49:55] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:55] Why is that?
Dennis Rodman: [00:49:56] Ask him. I just it will be different, very, very different, if I didn't go to North Korea the first time and make awareness, the fact that there was someone that was a hostage over there. I'll be different. If I didn't go there then I guarantee this will not be happening right now. We will not be talking about North Korea because before I went there, we didn't give a shit about North Korea even though they were doing the same shit, doing the same stuff, but no one paid attention to North Korea. I start to go and still giving awareness on what's going on in North Korea, that's when my shit started to come to light. Donald Trump didn't do that. That president didn't do that. Obama definitely hated my guts because of what I was doing. He couldn't stop it. Trump didn't it. The only reason why Trump even had that summit, it's because also maybe we can start, okay, great, let me go over there and try to make peace. I love Donald Trump, man. Me and Donald Trump, we have a blast together, something like that. But I'm saying though, no one ever thought about having a mean summit with North Korea seven years ago. Nobody would have thought about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:01] Kenneth Bay did thank you for the increased attention. I mean, he was the guy that came out and he was like, hey, I think Dennis Rodman helped get me out of here. That guy was there for a long time.
Dennis Rodman: [00:51:11] Long time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:11] At the end of the 30 for 30 documentary, there's not much about that family, the Rich family that you were so close to when you were young. Are you still close with them?
Dennis Rodman: [00:51:18] Well, we kind of broke away distance-wise because of certain things that happened. I guess they pretty much got older. If you saw in a documentary with the mother, god damn, she seems like she so fucking racist, the way she talks. I said as country, if you live with them, you understand that I got used to them. You know, she'll make stupid comments, but I didn't care, but it was more fun than anything. But like I said, those ones were those precious moments in my life, that really kept me whole and kept me as a human being, and kept me moving in the right direction as far as going to the NBA. I worked my ass off on that farm every day, 5:30 to 8 at night every day, besides playing basketball.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:55] So you don't still keep in touch with them? [crosstalk].
Dennis Rodman: [00:51:57] Well, I keep in touch with the sons.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:59] Oh ,you do?
Dennis Rodman: [00:52:00] Yep.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:00] What happened to...Is it Brian? Yeah.
Dennis Rodman: [00:52:03] Well Brian is doing his own thing in Dallas. He's doing his own thing. He went through so many issues too, but he's getting back on the right track.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:09] When you Pat Rich, the mother say things like, well, I feel like I lost a son. What do you think when you hear that and then now that you're not in touch with her?
Dennis Rodman: [00:52:16] You know, it's funny my mother say the same thing when I went to move with that white family because when I went to Southeastern Oklahoma State, I told my mother that I'm never coming back. And then when I went there and I started to live with this white family, and then I went back to Dallas and I took the little white kid with me to Dallas to my mother's apartment or whatever. And my mother, why is here?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:36] He was like 12 and you were like 22.
Dennis Rodman: [00:52:40] I'm 22, he's 12 years old, little white skinny kid and I brought the kid with me to Dallas, and stuff like that in the projects of all places. And my mother said "What is he doing here?" I said, "Well," they came in, my friends, 22 and 12 you know, it's like more like, "Okay--"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:54] That's like some Michael Jackson looking type thing.
Dennis Rodman: [00:52:57] That wasn't like that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:58] No of course but people looked at it--
Dennis Rodman: [00:53:01] It looked a little like that. Yeah, what's this little white kid doing the neighborhood with him. And like you've said, my mother said the same thing. She said, I just want my son to come back because he says I abandoned her with that one with the white family. I never went back to the ghetto or the projects at all when I lived with them. I won't even talk about my family.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:18] It seems like you've got sort of this thing where you move on from people and you just never looked back.
Dennis Rodman: [00:53:22] I catch myself doing that a lot because it's like, wow. When I catch myself doing a routine, I forget what just happened 10 days ago, two days ago because I'm so focused like this. I'm so focused on this right here, I forget for the time being, I forget that. Unless I'm alone, I start to think about all these things that has had happened over the last year, last two years, last 10 years, like 20. I start to think about everything and then try to put my mind at ease place where I can say I got it. I got it. I got it. I don't forget. I think that's one of the main reason why I keep going and doing what I'm doing now. I'm not trying to keep myself so stale and so bored and thinking about the same old bullshit. I'm always looking for new things, new avenues to keep me striving for that fucking ability to help people and then help myself.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:05] I was going to ask you about...I wanted to end on a fun note and ask you how you broke your dick three times, but out of respect for your friend, I think maybe we should skip that.
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:12] She's heard it too many times.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:14] She's heard it too many times.
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:16] But I was saying, end on a good note. Why don't you end on a good note?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:19] I mean--
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:19] Ask me something that nobody has heard you say on this podcast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:21] Nobody's heard me say--
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:23] Of course to someone.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:24] Ooh, that's a tricky one. I mean, I thought, how did you break your penis three times was a question I would never have asked anyone.
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:29] Everybody knows that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:31] Everybody knows that story. Then let me flip this around. Tell me a story that you've never told any of these other media folks because you're doing a ton of me.
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:37] How are you going to flip it like that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:39] Luckily I'm in the position where I got to ask the question and you get to be the fun one.
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:42] How are you going to flip that on your own podcast? How are you going to do that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:45] That's how podcasts work.
Dennis Rodman: [00:54:47] In mainstream, you can still do that, right? Okay. All Right. You want me to say something that people--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:53] A story that no one's heard, that you think is funny or that you think is educational. Probably both because you got to have something. There's got to be something where you went, ooh, I'm glad I didn't mention that. Now's a good time to mention it.
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:03] I'm missing everything. I'm missing a lot of stuff, man. I can say a lot of fucking crazy stories, but we'll wait for the movie and a book and a series.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:11] You've got a book coming?
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:12] Well, I just thought about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:15] Oh, okay.
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:15] I just told like it should be coming next year. Well, I give you one story.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:19] Please.
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:19] There was a time where I contemplated on trying to go on the other side of the road.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:24] Meaning the same sex?
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:26] Yeah, I thought about that. I thought about that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:29] Do you still think about that?
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:30] Nope. I said I thought about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:32] All right. Yeah, I understand.
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:33] I thought about that, you know, but I was saying though, we all have the option and the freedom to do what we want, like they say curiosity killed the cat.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:40] And you never indulged that curiosity or just once?
Dennis Rodman: [00:55:42] No, never happened. You can always think that it's more like I say, great,if you want to go there. If you don't want to go there, don't go there. It's like saying if you see your mother and father doing drugs, you didn't go there. It looks fun, but damn, fuck it. Keep going. Keep going to your path. Same thing with that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:58] Why did you resist that though? Looking at that now, you were hanging out at those clubs. Obviously you got, I'm sure there were tons of guys that were like, "Hey, let's try and bang Dennis Rodman."
Dennis Rodman: [00:56:07] They didn't say that like that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:08] They said it to each other. Maybe not to you.
Dennis Rodman: [00:56:10] That's what I said earlier, I said it'd be a trip if I told people I was gay back then, which I'm not. I'll say fuck, if I was gay and I'll be proud of it. I bring the whole flag. I have a flag hanging from my cock. Hey, I'm gay as fuck. Look at me. So yeah, but I'm just saying even then I'd be proud of me. If I was gay, I'd be proud as hell. I've got nothing to be ashamed of. But there's a lot of stories. I can tell you the truth or dare or tell-all book. I never had one of those book, tell-all book. I got a lot of stories, I can tell all about a lot of things, but I won't write that book.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:50] All right, well you'll have to come on next time.
Dennis Rodman: [00:56:52] I've got to come on next time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:53] Thank you very much.
Dennis Rodman: [00:56:53] Always good man.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:00] Oh wow, well, Dennis Rodman, I told you it's a crazy one. This is just a taste of the enigma that is Dennis Rodman. He was discovered by a college coach. For example, we didn't cover this, but the guy flies out to him from Oklahoma. He flies all the way there. Rodman won't come out of his room for a few hours. I'm like, what is going through your head here? He moves to Durant, Oklahoma and not exactly a friendly place for him. Racism every day. Didn't phase him at all. His best friend was like 12 when he was 22 as we mentioned, I mean it's just bananas is 30 for 30 on ESPN was crazy and you really see how all the things he wanted to do as a kid. He started doing in his twenties. It's just wild.
[00:57:39] His level of skill in basketball...Isaiah Thomas said it best. He said:
[00:57:44] "We were standing in the lay-up line, warming up and shooting, and Rodman was standing back and watching everybody shoot. I said, ‘Hey, come on, you have to participate; everybody’s shooting lay-ups, you have to shoot lay-ups, too.’ And he said, ‘I’m just watching the rotations on the basketball.’ I said, ‘Excuse me?’ He said, ‘Like, when you shoot, your ball spins three times in the air. Joe’s sometimes has 3 1/2 or four times.’ "That’s how far Rodman had taken rebounding, to a totally different level, like off the charts. He knew the rotation of every person that shot on our team — if it spins sideways, where it would bounce, how often it would bounce left or right. He had rebounding down to a science, and I never heard anyone think or talk about rebounding and defense the way he could break it down. When you talk about basketball IQ, I’d put Rodman at a genius level."
[00:58:33] And that is just a tiny piece of what informs this man's character today.
[00:58:38] I had a really, really fun and interesting experience with him and we're actually going to be hanging out again in a few weeks. So stay tuned for more with Dennis Rodman, not necessarily on the show, but certainly on our social media feed or my social media feed, which is at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. Big thank you to Dennis Rodman and Darren Prince for making this happen. Check out his 30 for 30 on ESPN. We'll link to it in the show notes if there's a public link. And there's of course there's a video of this interview on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube, and there are worksheets for each episode, including this one. So you can review what you've learned from Dennis Rodman at jordanharbinger.com in the show notes.
[00:59:19] I'm teaching you how to connect with great and manage relationships using systems and tiny habits in our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course, and don't kick the can down the road. Don't do it later. You got to dig the well before you're thirsty. You got to have those relationships in place before you need them. Nobody wants to get a call from you. Hey, can you help me out with something when they haven't heard from you in six months or a year? Come on. These drills. Take a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. This has changed my life, my business. It's free. Not enter your credit card free, but free, free at jordanharbinger.com/course. And of course most of the guests on the show, they subscribed to the course and the newsletter, so join us. You'll be in smart company. Again, my social media at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram.
[01:00:13] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. This episode was produced by Jen Harbinger and Jason DeFillippo, and edited by Jase Sanderson, show notes and worksheets by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola, and I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. And yes, I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer, so do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee from this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting, which this episode should definitely count. So please share the show with those you love, and even those you don't. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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