'The Last Dance': Dennis Rodman Reflects on Missing Bulls Practice During NBA Finals for WCW

Dennis Rodman was one of the best rebounders to ever play in the NBA. However, he also had a lot of fun off the court, which led to him missing a practice during the NBA Finals to participate in pro wrestling. In the 10th and final episode of The Last Dance, Rodman talked about how he missed a practice during the 1997-98 NBA Finals to appear at a WCW event with Hulk Hogan. Rodman explained why he decided to go to WCW instead of preparing for Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz.

"I wasn't trying to do anything," Rodman said. "I was just trying to play basketball, party, da da da, f— all the girls. Just be me, Dennis. I think Phil [Jackson] realized that I needed to always do me, just go do what I do. ... They're gonna get 100 percent when I'm on the court." The good news is the Bulls were able to win the series and win their sixth title in eight years. And Rodman's appearance on WCW during the NBA Finals wasn't his first. He made appearances during the offseason, and once the 1997-98 season came to an end, he teamed with Hogan to face Diamond Dallas Page and Utah Jazz star Karl Malone in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach. He also wrestled at the 1997 Bash at the Beach event as he teamed up with Hogan to face Lex Luger and the Giant.

"I've got Phil Jackson calling me, going, 'Where's my guy at? Where's my guy at?'" Hogan said on the WWE Network series Untold. "I'm going, 'Rodman, Phil Jackson keeps blowing my phone up, you gotta go back.' He goes, 'I don't want to go back!' All the lines were blurred."


Having Rodman on WCW was a big boost for the company as they were going to war with WWE at the time. However, Rodman's ability to skip practice during the Finals and not suffer any serious consequences is an example of the Bulls letting him do whatever he wants. It's very likely what Rodman did would not fly in today's NBA, but to his credit, he was still able to play at a high level each and every night. In Game 4 of the Finals in 1998, Rodman pulled down 14 rebounds to help their team win the third game of the series.