Dennis Rodman is a Hall of Fame player. He is a five-time NBA champion, arguably the greatest rebounder the game has ever seen, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and a member of the NBA’s 75th anniversary team.
Rodman is also the worst teammate Shaquille O’Neal ever had.
That’s what Shaq said on his The Big Podcast with Shaq, when asked about his worst teammate ever he didn’t hesitate to call out Rodman (hat tip CBS Sports).
“Worst teammate? Dennis Rodman,” O’Neal said. “He was a great player, but he made it hard. Like when you try to corral the guys together and the people above you [are] letting this one guy do whatever he wants. So we had to be there an hour before the game. He’d come in fifteen 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.”
And Shaq and Rodman were only teammates for one season, with the Lakers in 1998-99.
It’s pretty easy to see Rodman as a crucial player on the court and a disruptive force off it. Rodman had his best success on teams with strong coaches and locker room leaders — Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan in Chicago, Chuck Daly and Isiah Thomas in Detroit — that could keep him relatively in check. Keep him focused on the task at hand, at least when it mattered (the rest of the time, well…).
Plenty of Rodman teammates likely would back Shaq up. Other former Rodman teammates will look at the rings on their fingers and know those wouldn’t be there without him.