The wild life of Dennis Rodman was the focus of this week’s episodes of ‘The Last Dance.’ Carmen Electra made a cameo and recalled a time when Michael Jordan showed up to (her then-boyfriend) Rodman’s Vegas hotel room and she hid behind the couch!
Last week’s two-part premiere of ESPN’s documentary, The Last Dance explored the origins of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, along with the drama that came with the famous No. 2 being underpaid. This week (episodes three and four), it was the Dennis Rodman show, which fans of the former NBA player know is always entertaining. Episode three specifically focused on the evolution and uniqueness of Rodman — from his ever-changing hair colors, to his partying lifestyle, to his romance with model and actress, Carmen Electra.
Rodman grew up in the projects. His mother kicked him out at the age of 18 because “she got tired of me not providing,” he said in the doc, looking back on his childhood. Rodman lived on the streets for two years after that, and instead of getting into drugs and partying, he focused on basketball. When he got to the NBA, he thrived as an elite defender and rebounder. But, he loved to party.
In 1993, Rodman recalled an incident when he fell asleep with a legally registered firearm in his vehicle. It led to questions about whether or not he had suffered an emotional breakdown. “I had a gun in my hand, in the front seat. Luckily, I fell asleep and the cops came and got me. I was at a lost place at the time,” he said, admitting, “I think that was more of a wakeup call and a rescue call.”
But, he continued to party. Fast-forward to 1998: Rodman was in his third year with the Chicago Bulls, a team that embraced him for who he was, despite his outspoken behavior and wild ways.
One day, he asked coach Phil Jackson and team leader, Michael Jordan for a “vacation.” They told Rodman that he had 48 hours until he had to return for practice.
“So, I went to f–king Vegas,” he recalled, laughing in the doc.
“I do remember being in Vegas with him,” said Carmen Electra, who was his girlfriend at the time. (She appeared on screen looking incredible, by the way). “It was on, the party was starting” she continued, as old footage played of the then-couple taking shots together with a group of friends in Vegas.
“He had to escape. He liked to go out, he liked to go to the club. We’d go to his favorite restaurant, his favorite night club, then after hours — it didn’t stop. It was definitely an occupational hazard to be his girlfriend,” Carmen said of her relationship with Rodman. “To be honest, I didn’t realize what the team’s schedule was. I didn’t know he took a detour,” she added about Rodman’s 48-hour “vacation.”
He “didn’t get back on time” Michael said, admitting that he had to “go get his ass out of bed” to go to practice. MJ added, “I’m not going to say what was in his bed, where he was, but…”
Yes, it was model and actress, Carmen Electra — who, at the time, was a rising star in Hollywood — in Rodman’s bed.
“There was a knock on the door,” Carmen recalled. “It’s Michael Jordan, and I hid. I didn’t want to seem like that, so I was just hiding behind the couch lie this. ‘Come on we gotta get to practice,’” she said, impersonating Michael talking to Dennis.
During Rodman’s 48-hour “vacation,” he married Carmen at the Little Chapel of the Flowers in Las Vegas — something that was not mentioned in the doc. They were divorced within a year.
Despite his antics, Rodman’s passion for winning overshadowed his partying lifestyle. “He needed to get away, but he was always there, he was always on point,” Michael recalled. Earlier in the doc, MJ said, “Dennis was one of the smartest guys I played with… he had no limitations.”
Before Carmen, Rodman dated Madonna for a few months in 1994. It was just before he got traded to the San Antonio Spurs, changed his hair color to blonde and started “acting out,” as his peers described it in the doc. Madonna was the one who apparently made Rodman realize he didn’t have to hide who he truly was.
His former Pistons teammate, John Salley recalled, “Madonna says he’s cute. They start seeing each other. Madonna established that ‘you need to be you’… and he began to realize he can push the boundaries.”
In the beginning of episode 3, a producer asked Rodman about his reputation during his NBA career.
“Did it bother you that you were perceived as this bombastic crazy guy?” Rodman replied, “No, I just think that I created this monster, but no one could say anything bad about me as a teammate.”
The Last Dance continues next week with episodes five and six as the documentary looks back at the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty through the lens of the final championship season in 1997-98. ESPN will air two new episodes of Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET until May 17. Be sure to check back at HollywoodLife for weekly recaps.