Rodman loved Phil's authenticity
After signing with the Chicago Bulls in 1995, there was still some concern about whether Dennis Rodman would fit into the system the team was trying to establish. Soon it was evident having Rodman was one of the best things that could have happened for the team aiming to win another championship. Phil Jackson was the biggest reason why Rodman was able to adjust so quickly to the team because he had to make sure everyone's ego was in place, especially because of some bad blood between Rodman and the Bulls from back in the day.
Luckily all of that was resolved, and Rodman proved to be an integral part of the Bulls' success, providing much-needed defense, rebounding, and getting into the opposing players' heads with his infamous mind games. In some way, Jackson helped Rodman revitalize his career, and in his book 'Walk On The Wild Side' Rodman shared an interesting anecdote of how he thanked Phil for everything he's done for his career.
Rodman thought highly of Jackson and his coaching methods since Rodman appreciated his authenticity more than anything else. Jackson introduced different new ways of training for the players that also built team chemistry which proved essential during the Bulls' second three-peat. Rodman found Jackson to be an interesting individual and, in his book, said he wished he could have partied with the Zen Master, convinced he was a wild guy when younger.
"Phil is just a cool dude. He's one sports figure who's interesting enough that I wouldn't mind hanging out with him for a while. If he wasn't married, I would want to see what kind of guy he is-if he's a party animal if he's a sex-crazed jungle man. He probably was in his youth, when he was playing basketball.
Rodman taught the Bulls were cheap
After the Bulls won their first championship during the second three-peat in 1996, Rodman decided to buy Jackson a new custom-made Harley Davidson. Rodman believed the Bulls' management wasn't fair to Jackson and were actually cheap when offering him a new contract even though he was at that time the best head coach in the NBA. Rodman and other members on the team appreciated Jackson so much that they were even thinking of leaving the Bulls if they didn't bring him back as the head coach.
"Just before the start of the 1996-97 season, I showed my appreciation to Phil by presenting him with a custom Harley-Davidson. Even though he had just won his fourth championship for the Bulls, our cheap-ass management dicked him around and treated him like a piss-boy. They wouldn't offer him what he was worth, and he had to settle for a one-year contract for $2.5 million-good money, but way less than what someone like John Calipari, who had never coached in the NBA before, got from the New Jersey Nets. Phil could have told them to fuck off, and he would have gotten hired somewhere for major bucks. But he stayed in Chicago, and that meant Michael Jordan stayed, and I stayed, and another championship is within our grasp."
Rodman As we all know, Jackson remained with the team until their last championship in 1998, and then soon after that joined the Los Angeles Lakers. He had almost the same type of success for the team in Purple and Gold, after which he was epitomized as the best coach in NBA history. All the Bulls players, especially Rodman, recognized his greatness and ability to make a group of strong-minded individuals work together as a team. Hopefully, Jackson enjoyed his present from Rodman as it probably was a pretty nice Harley Davidson.