Laker Maker or Laker Breaker? Dennis Rodman Could Lead His Talented but Troubled Young Team to an NBA Title. or, on the Other Hand

By Samuels, Allison; Starr, Mark | Newsweek, April 12, 1999 | Go to article overview

Laker Maker or Laker Breaker? Dennis Rodman Could Lead His Talented but Troubled Young Team to an NBA Title. or, on the Other Hand


Samuels, Allison, Starr, Mark, Newsweek


No one can cram more tumult into 48 hours than Dennis Rodman. Take, for example, one recent weekend that began Friday night with the Lakers power forward being benched after a sideline spat with new coach Kurt Rambis. Neither that nor the L.A. loss kept Rodman from donning cowboy boots and hat later to party the night away at a Whitney Houston bash in Beverly Hills. By Saturday afternoon, he wasn't in much of a mood for practice, showing up--without apology and with a new peroxide 'do-- 75 minutes late. "Dennis is doing what Dennis needs to do," said Rambis, who kept Rodman in the starting lineup Sunday for a key tussle with New York. Rodman responded by wreaking basketball havoc as only he can. It wasn't just his team-leading 12 rebounds, but rather how the Lakers seemed to embrace his roughhouse style. And Rodman's "conniving, cunning" tactics, as he calls them, goaded two Knicks into stupid retaliations, which got them tossed out of the game. After the Laker win, Rodman ho-hummed all his weekend adventures. "It comes as it comes, it goes as it goes," he said. Slipping out a Forum side door and into his new blue Bentley convertible, he added, "I'm just taking it one day at a time."

But it's not clear that Rodman's chaotic version of "one day at a time" is the right mantra for recovery of L.A.'s title hopes. The team is probably the league's most talented--and underachieving. With five championship rings from stints with the Bulls and Pistons, Rodman was supposed to provide veteran leadership for a young club with rival superstars in Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Lakers, playing in America's most celebrity-conscious town, too often seem to be competing with each other--on and off the court--for the fans' adulation. O'Neal's play has been formidable, but he hasn't been able to get the team to follow his lead. And Bryant, particularly, has a penchant for playground moves and showtime shots. After Rodman's arrival, the team did win 10 games in a row, thanks in large part to his rebounding and gritty defense. But it's hard to lead L.A. from Las Vegas, where Rodman fled last month on a weeklong sabbatical "to get rid of my demons." And even when Dennis deigns to show up at the Forum, he dresses in a separate room and seldom converses with teammates. "I'm not a talker," he says. "I lead by example." Some teammates fear that Rodman's example could lead the team astray. "We can't afford another distraction from him," says point guard Derek Harper. "I'm not management, but if it happened again, that would be it."

Turns out Rodman is at least as fed up with his teammates as any of them are with him. He says he quickly saw that the team was "immature" and dominated by "ego trips"; players worried only about shooting, not sharing, the ball. "Everybody wants to be 'the man' and put their fame ahead of what we're really there for," Rodman told NEWSWEEK. "I'm the most unselfish player on that team. It's hard for me 'cause I'm used to being on teams where people worked together to win no matter whatever the hell else was going on."

Of course, Rodman seems to have more "whatever the hell" going on than anyone else on the team. "I thought I could bring some excitement back to L.A.," he said last week, while cuddling with his actress wife, Carmen Electra, over lunch at the Cheesecake Factory in Marina Del Rey. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Laker Maker or Laker Breaker? Dennis Rodman Could Lead His Talented but Troubled Young Team to an NBA Title. or, on the Other Hand
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.