Dennis Rodman and Shaquille O’Neal donned the Los Angeles Lakers jersey in the 1998-99 NBA season. It seemed like the perfect frontcourt duo, but the reality is, the two didn’t get along at all. So much so that O’Neal called Rodman his worst teammate ever.
“He was great but…”
Rodman found himself donning the Purple and Gold in the latter part of the 1998-99 NBA season. He teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, a few years before they would become a dominant dynamic duo. Rodman played just 23 games for the Lakers. But it was something Shaq would never forget.
”Worst teammate? Dennis Rodman. He was a great player, but he made it hard. Like when you try to corral the guys together and the people above you letting this one guy do whatever he wants,” O’Neal said, per The Big Podcast with Shaq.
O’Neal spilled the specifics of Rodman’s erratic behavior. According to Shaq, the Worm didn’t behave like a professional before the game. After the game, Rodman went straight to the clubs - as in, straight away.
“So we had to be there an hour before the game, he come in 15 minutes before the game eating chicken and rice. While the coaches are talking, he would jump in the shower. Cold shower. Come and give you 15-20 rebounds. After the game, he don’t take a shower and be in a club with girls that look like you,” O’Neal added.
O’Neal wanted to complain and tell Rodman to at least take a shower before heading out. But then the Worm just snagged 15 to 20 rebounds, so there was nothing you could say to him. Shaq revealed that he sometimes joined Rodman in one of his club adventures and saw almost all the girls on top of the Worm.
Still one of the greatest
Perhaps Shaq is right. Rodman is known for his reckless behavior off the court. But these stories are almost always taken in jest and not seen as malicious antics. This is because the Worm was a beast on the court. He has five rings on his resume which he won playing for two legendary teams: the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
After his stint in LA, Rodman flocked to his hometown to play for the Dallas Mavericks. He became teammates with soon-to-be-legends Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki. Unfortunately, Rodman was at the tail-end of his career at that point. He played just 12 games and was slapped with six technical fouls. Those were the last games he played in the NBA, finishing a legendary career.