The truth behind Dennis Rodman and Donald Trump as friends

It would seem that of any resource right now keeping the world entertained during lock-down, Netflix has come through the most. First it dropped Tiger King and that was simultaneously a gift from the heavens and a vision of hell… in short, endlessly entertaining.

Now, in production with ESPN, Netflix has dropped a 10-part docuseries called The Last Dance, giving a historical account of Michael Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls. The docuseries includes unaired footage from 1997-1998, Jordan’s last season with the Bulls, according to ESPN.

The series launched on April 19, 2020 and will drop two episodes every Sunday until May 17, 2020. The series was actually supposed to launch in June 2020, but because of the coronavirus, fans begged for an earlier release date and it worked! ESPN said of this decision: “As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience. We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series,” (via the NBA.)

While this series pays particular attention to Jordan, it wouldn’t be complete without the story of Dennis Rodman. While there’s just so much to talk about, we have to narrow in on some questions about a very particular point that’s come up with Rodman himself. He’s had some major connections with none other than Donald Trump in the past, so what’s the truth behind their friendship?

Dennis Rodman got fired twice on 'The Celebrity Apprentice'

Dennis Rodman is no stranger to media attention. In fact, throughout his career, he’s created much of the buzz himself. According to Sports Illustrated, Rodman, who dyes his hair and boasts several facial piercings, once wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography. Rodman told The Crossover: “Dyeing my hair, dressing in drag…it all just came naturally to me. I was probably the only player in the history of sports to build an image by himself. It was all raw and natural, no Nike, no Adidas, no Converse,” (via Sports Illustrated.)

Then Rodman’s buzz moved to a more political nature and perhaps the most controversial topic was about his curious friendship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, according to Yahoo. While the NBA star’s friendship with the North Korean dictator might be the strangest connection ever, Rodman also has quite the history with Donald Trump.

Rodman appeared on the 8th season of The Celebrity Apprentice in 2009, back when Trump’s power was limited to reality TV. Trump fired Rodman for his drinking and erratic behavior, according to Yahoo.

Since this was all so terrifically exciting, Trump brought Rodman back in 2013 for the all-star edition. Rodman became a project manager on The Celebrity Apprentice but happened to misspell Melania Trump’s name on an ad campaign. Guess what? Rodman got fired again.

Dennis Rodman and Donald Trump go at it on Twitter

Dennis Rodman has a love/hate Twitter relationship with Donald Trump, something that is both public and slightly confusing. Back in 2014, Rodman suggested that he and Trump travel to North Korea together, according to CNN, and Trump had some thoughts. On May 7, 2014, Trump, who had yet to be elected president, tweeted: “Crazy Dennis Rodman is saying I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Never discussed, no interest, last place on Earth I want to go to.”

On the same day, five minutes later, Trump tweeted again: “Dennis Rodman was either drunk or on drugs (delusional) when he said I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Glad I fired him on Apprentice!”

Things changed in 2015 when Rodman endorsed Trump as president. The NBA star tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years. We don’t need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016.”

Trump responded kindly, in contrast to his comments from the year before. He tweeted: “Thank you @DennisRodman. It’s time to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain! I hope you are doing well!”

But then in 2017, Rodman told TMZ that he and Trump hadn’t spoken since his time on The Celebrity Apprentice. Rodman added that Trump is someone who “loves power” and loves to “talk s**t.” Not exactly BFFs.

Dennis Rodman cries on TV discussing Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

In June 2018, Dennis Rodman’s combined histories with Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un came to a head when Trump met with the North Korean leader. CNN’s Chris Cuomo interviewed Rodman to ask him about the meeting between the two leaders since Rodman was the only person in the world who seemed to have a connection with both parties.

According to CNN, Rodman was wearing a MAGA hat in the interview, said of the meeting: “I think the fact that Trump would understand that the people of North Korea have a heart, they have soul, charisma, and they love each other.”

Rodman grew vividly emotional and began wiping tears from behind his sunglasses when he recounted his return from North Korea in 2014. He said: “When I got home, I got so many death threats. I was sitting up protecting everything. But I kept my head up high, brother. I knew things were gonna change. I was the only one.”

When asked if the White House reached out to the NBA star, Rodman said that Trump’s secretary called him and said: “Donald Trump is so proud of you, he says thank you,” (via CNN.)

Rodman ended on a note of optimism: “Let’s just hope for the best. We don’t need a miracle, we just need the doors to be open so we can start fresh and make this place a better world, baby, that’s it.”

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