Dennis Rodman made a name for himself as one of the best rebounders and defenders in NBA history, but his popularity grew even more because of all the antics he did on and off the court. There were so many crazy and somewhat bizarre situations involving Rodman that you could write a few books about it or make a documentary similar to the one of The Last Dance.
One of those antics came from Rodman after joined the Dallas Mavericks in 1999 and immediately got in trouble with the NBA commissioner at that time, David Stern. They had several exchanges in the previous seasons, but the tensions between them came to its all-time high during Rodman’s time with the Mavs.
The incident happened after Rodman got hit with several technical fouls and was thrown out of the game. He later accused Stern and the officials of putting a target on his head, which affected his ability to play basketball properly. After the game, Rodman was asked by the reporters about his relationship with Stern, and he said the only way they can fix their relationship is if they organize a naked boxing match.
I suspect David Stern is going to do something usual, like a heavy fine, but I don’t give a damn. Me and David Stern have our differences, and like I said last night, we need to get into a ring. He gets naked, I get naked, and we get it on, brother. As long as he doesn’t bend over, he will be alright.Dennis Rodman
Stern obviously declined Rodman’s request, and their relationship deteriorated even more. It’s fair to say Rodman was a shell of himself and was mostly wrestling with other players instead of playing basketball, which negatively affected the team’s chemistry. Rodman played only 15 games for the Mavs and, because of injuries, retired from the NBA at the age of 38.
An interesting fact about his short stint with the Mavs is that he averaged over 14 rebounds per game. Even though he was old and his body was failing him, he had several games where he reminded everyone why he led the league in rebounds for seven seasons and was one of the meanest guys on defense.