Most know Dennis Rodman from his days with the Chicago Bulls, some also remember him for being a key piece on the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons. However, what many have forgotten is that Rodman was very briefly part of another NBA dynasty as well. During the 1998-99 season, The Worm joined the Los Angeles Lakers, then led by a Shaq and Kobe tandem. However, he played just 23 games before being released during the offseason.
By the time he was properly established following the Bulls' three-peat, Rodman had established himself as quite the character. He did wild things, turning up on the Oprah Winfrey show without shoes was one. And while his off-court antics were quite wild, to say the least, he wasn't necessarily everyone's cup of tea when it came to basketball activities either. Michael Jordan once shared how Dennis would make the Bulls do extra work in practice so he could get back in shape after missing some time.
Well, it's safe to say that his behavior behind the scenes wasn't very pleasing to LA's biggest star at the time. Shaquille O'Neal was very much entering his prime, and far from the ideal teammate himself later in his career, but he wasn't too amused with Rodman and his behavior.
Shaquille O'Neal Claimed Dennis Rodman Was His Worst Teammate
Speaking on the Big Podcast with Shaq, the big man opened up on what it was like to be teammates with one of the NBA's most enigmatic talents. O'Neal admitted that Rodman's output was terrific, he did average 11 rebounds per game with the Lakers. However, he shared some stories of why he wasn't the best teammate either (via Basketball Network).
”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.
“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."
This was a common theme across Rodman's playing career, getting the best out of him meant letting him do whatever he wanted. By the end of it, though, the rest of the baggage wasn't worth the production anymore. It's an interesting take from Shaq, especially considering that Rodman once suggested that the big man and Kobe were jealous of him.