Dennis Rodman is arguably the biggest wildcard in NBA history. There was no telling what Rodman would do if he was given the opportunity to. While his talent as a defender and a rebounder knew no limits, sometimes he would try to do something reckless and had to be stopped.
And that is exactly what Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had to do during a Bulls-Lakers game that went into overtime. In the first half of the game, Shaquille O'Neal was dominating the Bulls' interior defenders. But Dennis Rodman had not taken a shot at guarding him. So coming into the second half, Rodman turned his focus to Shaq.
Throughout the second half, Rodman was a pest for Shaq, not letting him dominate in the paint, and beating him for each rebound. Rodman was very effective, containing Shaq to 4 points in the second half, and 0 points in the 4th quarter. The Lakers blew their lead and Chicago was able to send the game into overtime.
During overtime, it was a back and forth affair, but Rodman continued his lockdown defense on Shaq, limiting him to 0 points once again. Chicago took the lead in overtime. With 24 seconds to go, Elden Campbell missed a three-pointer, and Rodman grabbed the rebound immediately to call a time out.
But Jerome Kersey tried to foul Rodman to send him to the free throw line. Rodman was furious, as the timeout had already been called. The two began to shove each other, and even Shaquille O'Neal joined in to defend his teammate. Rodman tried fighting back but was restrained by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
This was a smart move from Rodman, as it would allow the Bulls an opportunity to kill time by bringing the ball up the court. Rodman was never a good free throw shooter, and sending him to the line could have cost them the game. But Rodzilla's quick thinking allowed the Bulls to kill some more time. And all Pippen and Jordan had to do was restrain him so he wouldn
Rodman was eventually fouled and went to the free-throw line. But surprisingly, Rodman made free throws to ice the game and win it for the Bulls. Rodman ended the game with 2 points and 18 rebounds, whereas Jordan had 30 points, and Pippen had 35. Despite being held to 4 points in the second half, Shaq had 27 points in the game.
The Bulls were at the peak of their powers during the late 90s and won three consecutive NBA championships with Rodman, Pippen, and Jordan. Pippen and Rodman both feel that they would have gone undefeated in the 1998-99 lockout season if the Bulls had not broken the team up.
Shaq and Rodman had a tumultuous history together. This wouldn't be their first major encounter, and it would not be their last. Below is a compilation of their confrontations and fights during their respective careers.