One of the most shocking parts about the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 championship run was when Dennis Rodman took a vacation to Las Vegas in the middle of the season, which was documented in “The Last Dance” on Sunday.
Rodman was described as the “model citizen” in the days and games that Scottie Pippen was out with an injury. However, once Pippen returned, Rodman was described as becoming “dramatic, drinking, partying and losing his connection with reality.”
Rodman asked the team for a vacation and was allowed to go to Las Vegas for “48 hours,” which was met by Michael Jordan’s skepticism.
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“You let him go on vacation, we’re not going to see him,” Jordan said. “You let him go to Vegas, and we’re definitely not going to see him.”
Carmen Electra, Rodman’s girlfriend at the time, talked about the wild moments of being with Rodman in Las Vegas. She said it was an “occupational hazard” to be his girlfriend.
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Jordan said he had to go to Las Vegas himself and get Rodman out of his hotel room.
“He didn’t come back on time, we had to go get his a** out of bed,” Jordan said. “I’m not going to say what was in his bed, where he was, blah blah blah.”
Giving Rodman a long leash appeared to be the secret sauce that blended the Bulls perfectly together.
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The future Hall of Famer was still a rebounding machine. He led the NBA with 15 rebounds per game during the 1997-98 season.