Jud Buechler is a name most fans wouldn’t recognize if you weren’t an avid Chicago Bulls fan in the ’90s. During their second three-peat, he was a role player, and fans got a chance to see him in The Last Dance documentary, in which he talked about the Bulls and their tremendous impact and success. The documentary allowed us a better view of their last season of the Bulls and their leading players and their origin story.
The most eccentric player on that team was, without a doubt, Dennis Rodman. Apart from being one of the best defenders and rebounders in NBA history, Rodman was often misunderstood because of his antics on and off the floor. In an interview with HoopsHype, Buechler talked about Rodman and how he was behind the scene as a teammate. Surprisingly he describes Rodman as a true introvert and very quiet person who completely changed his demeanor when the game started.
He was an incredible teammate. When the lights came on, he went crazy; he went nuts; he was a showman and very flamboyant and everything. But I think the one misconception about him is that [he’s always like that], but behind the scenes, he was actually quiet. He was super nice, and he was super generous with all of us, just a great teammate. In practice, he just worked as hard as anybody. But he was actually borderline shy; like, he wouldn’t even talk that much. I don’t think the rest of the world would ever think that because of how he acted when the lights came on during our games and stuff, but he was one of my most favorite teammates.Jud Buechler, via HoopsHype
Buechler’s comment about Rodman being one of his favorite teammates isn’t so surprising if you watched some of his interviews and was able to understand who he was as a person. Rodman was a complex personality but in essence, a good soul, so when Buechler attended Rodman’s induction to the Hall of Fame, he was incredibly proud of his former teammate.
When he got inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Steve Kerr and I went, and I was really happy to be in the crowd and see him there and to be there for that moment, for him. So, he’s one of my favorite teammates. I played 12 years in the NBA, and I would say he’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever played with.Jud Buechler, via HoopsHype
Stories like this prove Rodman was truly a unique personality in NBA history. He constantly played mind games with the opponents on the court, often being obnoxious, getting into their faces which a lot of them couldn’t handle. Off the court, he was surrounded by media because of his relationships with celebrities like Madonna. It often seemed he was even more popular than Michael Jordan, but he kept to himself as much as he could in reality. Rodman was a true maverick, often misunderstood by others, but when the game started, he was all business with an unbelievably desire to win and the ability to impact the game with his rebounding and defense on the opposing best players. There will never be anyone like Dennis Rodman in the NBA.