Dennis Rodman was very close to joining the Miami Heat, but Pat Riley stopped it.
Rodman definitely had a successful NBA career. He became famous as one of the tough players in the well-known Detroit Pistons team of the late 80s and later played with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in the Chicago Bulls. In 1999, he came close to joining the Heat, but Pat Riley had different plans.
Dennis Rodman almost joined the Heat
“Pat Riley is too cool. He is too cool for cool. You know, a lot of teams wanted me in 1999 because I still had some gas in the tank. Pat got too much pride. He has way too much pride. He said, ‘Oh Dennis is too much for us, we can’t handle him,'” Rodman said to 7Sports News.
Rodman’s career went downhill after he left the Bulls. He briefly played for the Lakers with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, but had issues off the court and only played a few games. Maybe Riley didn’t want to take a chance on Rodman and his reputation as a troublemaker. The Heat were building their own team and culture, and Riley might have thought Rodman wouldn’t be a good fit.
Rodman had a superb career
Dennis Rodman was still considered one of the best despite his character. His former teammate from the Pistons, Isiah Thomas, praised him on the All The Smoke podcast, calling him the best athlete he had ever seen, especially in the NBA.
“Not the highest jumping but just the best athlete. I had never seen anybody who ran that fast and then quickly jump like that. So, my first time playing with him, literally, he gets the rebound, kick it to me on the outlet pass. Right? And, so, when I get on the outlet, now I’m dribbling to the middle of the floor to set the break. As I’m dribbling to the middle of the floor, now this dude just threw it to me, he was down there underneath the basket waving for it. I’m like, ‘How the hell did he get (there)’ So, of course, I kick it up. But adjusting to his speed was the first thing I had to do,” he said.
Dennis Rodman was the NBA’s finest rebounder. He was really good at what he did. He could have been a more well-known and respected player in the league if it hadn’t been for his reckless behavior.