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Dennis Rodman: Death. Trump. Korea.

The First Anniversary Episode

It is an incredibly special day. It is the first anniversary of the Get WealthFit show and I couldn't think of a more perfect guest to have for the show. Let me tell you about our incredibly special guest.

He is a seven-time NBA rebounding champ. He’s a five-time NBA champion. He's got five rings. He's a two-time defensive player of the year. He’s a two-time NBA all-star. He is a Hall of Famer. He is in the top ten most recognizable figures on the planet. He is also the unofficial ambassador for America to North Korea.

He is a basketball bad boy, Dennis Rodman.

On our show, we talk a lot. We talk about the suicide attempt. We talk about basketball and North Korea and because it is the Get WealthFit show, his best and worst money moves, being on the apprentice twice with Donald Trump, the wedding dress that he wore that shocked the world and made him a household name in all parts of the globe.

We even get into a little bit about leadership and playing on championship-caliber teams. There are a lot more that we get into on this very special anniversary of the Get WealthFit show, Mr. Dennis Rodman.

Dustin
Dennis, I saw the 30 for 30. I’ve got to say it’s an emotional lecture, engaging and over the top as you do. How do you think you came out?
Dennis
It came out pretty good. That's part of my story. A lot of guys in the world have stories, especially in the ‘80s. Now, a lot of guys have a lot of good stories but you come across a story like that and it's very interesting to focus on how things have evolved over the years. I think the story resonates with a lot of young kids now.
Dustin
It seems pretty obvious why someone would want to do it, get the story out, change the legs. What's your why? Why did you say, “I'm going to do this?”
Dennis
It's funny though as they say. My agent called me, Darren. He said, “They want to do a documentary on you in 30 For 30.” I said, “I'm not dead, right? Why do they want to do it before I die? Why not? Cool, whatever.” I thought it was cool.
The way I talk in the world, people like to hear me talk because I talk very real. I talk very directly to people.
I don't sugarcoat anything.
That’s why they probably came to me and they probably say, “This guy has got a story. Why haven't we done anything with this guy over the last few years since he retired?” They're very satisfied with it. I'm satisfied. I think that it brought a lot of rawness about an athlete, coming from nothing to the middle ages of this career. We talked about the family and the mother and father situation, all the stuff like that.
For a person to go through that vicious cycle, to come out in the end, it has been successful. It was very difficult to go through that and come out somewhat in a good light.
Dustin
You know your story. I'm curious. It has no surprises because it's your life. What surprises you the most about the release or about how they documented it?
Dennis
They covered a lot of bases at fourth. Like me going to transition from living in projects that were on a family in Oklahoma. The town was somewhat biased as far as black and white. I think you saw that.
I went through that transition.
They covered the fact that I went through that and from that, I went to the NBA. They did a good job with that. They were able to go to my family, my mother, my sister, my daughter. It was more interesting to see how they responded as far as them asking questions about me. I don't have a close relationship with anybody pretty much.
My daughters, my kids, my son, I probably don't have a close relationship, but it was intriguing to see how they spoke about me because they don't know me. They only know me on TV or doing some wild, crazy things, but they haven’t talked to me as a father, as a son or anything like that. It was interesting to hear them talk about me.
Dustin
Did you see it for the very first time at the screening or did you see some clips ahead of time?
Dennis
No, I haven't seen it at all. I wanted to soak it all in for people to come up and tell me how they liked it.
Dustin
When are you going to watch it?
Dennis
I'm going to watch it one day. I said, “I don’t need to watch because I’ve told it and I lived it.” I want to hear the response of people and how they look at me in this type of light. Before they saw the documentary, they looked at me in a different light, more of this party guy, this wild, uncontrollable guy that I’m somewhat still is, but I'm more in control now.
At the age of 58, it is cool to look back and to celebrate the fact that at 40 years old, they had BetLions on me in Vegas when I was going to die. That's nuts. It's weird to see your name on the scoreboard. Your name is there and they were saying, “Dennis is going to die at the age of 40, 41, 42, 43.” Really?
I would put a $10 bet on me pretty much right here. They robbed my friends, got a kick out of it. T
hey put some money on it too. I love the fact that my life has been very fortunate to go to the transition and literally go through that at wringer of all the trials, all the negativity and all the downfalls I’ve had and to look back at it.
Dustin
Dennis, I know you haven't seen it but I’m going to show this part. I'm sure you heard this part. One part that got me was when Isaiah breaks down and cries. You know that happened, right?
Dennis
I know that it happened. The reason why he did that is because he feels so close to me. He nurtured me through that whole time when I first came into the league. I was this 25-year-old kid.
I had a kid’s mind even though I was a grown man. I didn't know anything about living in Detroit, traveling or experiencing something in that nature. He’s 24/7 at my house, making sure I was okay because I was pretty much by myself.
He's like a big brother even though he's 6’1”. He was more a mentor to me with Chuck Daly. I was blessed to have that guy with me. I look back on the fact that if I didn't go to Detroit, I'd be at the league for probably three to four years.
Dustin
That was a big time. I want to ask you one more and we'll go on to your epic journey here. In the movie or in the documentary, they can only put so much in there. Based on what you know, was there anything left out like your wrestling career? Was there anything else left out that you wish they covered?
Dennis
No. They looked at it and dissected it and said, “We’ve got twelve hours of Dennis Rodman. I'm going to put it in our two-hour memo pad here. We've got a great idea. Let's do a part two.” They’re looking to do part two in 2020.
It is so much for people to understand Dennis Rodman because they see the glam and the glisten on TV, all the things I do, but they don't see that I can actually talk. I'm pretty smart. I’ve got a flip phone. I'm an old school. It is all good.
Dustin
Dennis, I've been blown away by 30 for 30. I didn't know about the tame Dennis, the introverted, the quiet Dennis. I want to rewind a bit because I want people to know you're not just this crazy, outlandish figure. I want to go back to 1993 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is in the Palace. At this point, you’ve got two NBA championships, two-time defensive player of the year and yet your world's falling apart. You're in the pickup. You've got the rifle in hand. Take us back. What's going on in your world at that time?
Dennis
That was interesting for me because I was trying to fit in with the team and pretty much society. When I went to Detroit, those guys embraced me as a family and as a sibling among adults. I got there. I got so used to being close to those guys.
We live and breathe basketball.
Basically, after three or four years at the championship, I want to be the Defensive Player of the year. I feel so emotional because I thought, “I want this. This is awesome. This is great.” People were tripping and saying like, “It's a Defensive Player award.” It's not like you won a score and title. I’m like, “I want it so bad because I've worked so hard to do something that I liked.” People can relate to that. After a while, they said, “This guy is passionate about the game. He wants to win.” It gave me a driving force at that time to keep playing basketball and to keep my mind right.
Things start to go awry as far as people were being traded, Chuck Daly got fired.
All of a sudden, I became this lost person because I said, “What am I going to do with my family? Where did they go? Did I cut it?” I got confused. I got in despair with a lot of things. I didn't show up at the training camp. I stayed at home.
I locked myself in a house for 60 days.
They had cameras, policemen and stuff like that trying to reach me. I won't come out of the house for 60 days. I was in this Wonderland. I had no direction where I was and what I was doing. I had a close-knit of friends that were at my house with me. I had two or three friends, we'd sit there and talked about anything. One day, I was by myself and I got in my truck and went to the Palace.
I went down.
I don't know why I did this.
I took the pickup truck instead of a car. I looked back behind me. I saw a gun. I took the gun from a gun rack. I put it in my lap. I'm listening, debating, “What's next?” I was all lost. All of a sudden, I decided to turn on a radio and I had a CD of Pearl Jam that I was playing. I still listen to it. All of a sudden, I fell asleep. I woke up and there were cops everywhere and media everywhere.
I was still in a fog.
I had no emotion.
I have no feeling about anything. What are they going to do to me? I was in that state. It was a difficult time.
Dustin
Did you kill the old Dennis that night?
Dennis
I thought there was a purpose for me because that's what my whole thought was to kill what was bothering me the whole time.
I wasn't trying to kill myself.
I’m trying to have the notion of fact that I want to kill this person. I don't want to feel like this anymore. I thought that this supposed to be an everlasting thing when we build something. I thought it was like, “Great.” I didn't know anything about the business side of the NBA. I had a lot of hard lessons at that point. I decided to go back to the Pistons.
One thing good about me is the fact that I was so trained mind-wise that I was trying to work hard. Even though I was so dissatisfied with going back to the Pistons, I still did my job.
I went out to rebound, defend and everything, even though my mind wasn't there. My whole heart and soul were into where I was doing and for the people in Detroit. Basically, that's what I was doing, living for the people that brought me here.
Dustin
When you go to San Antonio, is that the turning point there where the wild Dennis starts to come out? Did it start to happen in Detroit?
Dennis
It was one of those things when you saw the documentary. It’s everything about that documentary. When I started to discuss something, when I started to describe something, it always left a gap and a hole, it wasn’t finished.
They'll go to the next one.
That's pretty much what it was for me. When I moved to San Antonio, I’m like, “I’m down here to play.” John Lewis gave me an opportunity to come there. I got back into working out, taking my body back into shape. One day, I went to the mall and this guy said, “Let me cut your hair.” I said, “Okay.” I fell asleep in a chair. An hour later, I woke up. I had a blonde mohawk and I was like, “Why did you do this?” He said, “That looks good. That is good. They’re going to love it. Don't worry about it. It’s going to be fine.” I agree. We went to a movie. We went to see Demolition Man, which I didn't know what the movie was all about.
As the lights come off, my girlfriend started laughing at me and I said, “What's wrong?” She said, “He got the same thing you got.” Next day, we go to the Alamodome in a fan appreciation date. There are 25,000 to 30,000 people screaming San Antonio. I was like, “Whatever, I'm here to play.” They asked me, “Dennis, would you like to say a few words to the people?” I said, “I'll say something.”
I was pissed off to the whole world.
I said, “You can like me or you can hate me, but I'm here to do my job.” I took my head off and people freaked out. Ever since then, things have started going through the roof.
Dustin
Dennis, do you ever think back to these pivotal moments back in the pickup truck, you dodged that bullet, so to say, your friends are telling you, “Go try out?” You being discovered, playing only a handful of games. Do you ever think about the knock on the door from the coach? Do you ever think back to these moments?
Dennis
I lied to the guy when he came to my door. He said, “Where is Dennis Rodman?” I said, “He's not here.” They looked at me like I was dumb as fuck, “We know it’s you.” I decided and I go, “That's not me.” He said, “We want to ask if you want to come to fourteen.” In the documentary, we used a lot of those parallels. The whole documentary was pretty much going in that direction. All of a sudden, I tried to be bad. Then I say, “No, somebody else is coming in that’s good.” It turned to be bad. The whole documentation is like that. I keep saying to myself for years, someone's had a hand on my shoulder and say, “You're not going nowhere. You’ve got things to do here.” I never realized what that meant because I keep saying it to myself. It's funny that fight, that war, I think about stuff like that. I said, “There is something for me to live here besides the party, the drinking.” I think about that every day the thought that there is a purpose why I'm here.
Dustin
Dennis, it's on record. You love making people happy. Is that still the case?
Dennis
Yes. I put up with pretty much everybody first. Michelle would ask me, “You never buy anything for yourself.” I know, because I'm so driven and I don’t know why. I got that from my mother. You know my mother in the story. I got that from her. Every time I do things for people, I think about her a lot. I said, “I’m like my mother. This is insane.” Even though we don't have a communication line, what would I tell the woman? I think about it a lot. When I do something, I think about her. I said, “Why am I like this?” I like giving. If I have something and if a guy on the street needed some shoes and wear the same size, I'd give my shoes to them. I'm able to get some back in something like this. I like doing stuff like that. I want to make people happy. A lot of people do nice things for people around the world because they want to satisfy themselves. They think, “God will give me the blessing to come to heaven.” I don’t think like that. I'm here because I got it here, take it. It makes me happy because we're all human beings.
Dustin
I struggle with the same thing, the people-pleasing and making people happy. It's not necessarily a bad thing but then sometimes it can be. I'm curious, how do you determine, “I want to make someone happy,” but also being Dennis Rodman?
Dennis
It's hard. People don't understand the fact that when you give to people, when you're fortunate, when you give to people, when you go home and when you think about it, when you put yourself in an emotional state, it makes you feel good for yourself because you know what it's like. It's not all about you. I always think because when I do get emotional by myself, I do feel sorry for myself because I don't take time off of myself. I thank the fact that I learn it every day. It makes me feel good to get emotional by myself and listen to music and think, let my eyes do the wandering and why I'm living, why I'm still happy with what I'm doing. I like doing that. I liked for myself to keep that weakness about me instead of telling me being good every day, that I'm the man. Screw that. I hate when people talk about me in a good way. I hate it because I hate to hear my name. I like to be one of the locals, the boys on the beach. They go out and have a beer or sweet iced tea. I did go out and have a good time. We'll have a cigar. I’m going to chop it up. That's it.
Dustin
Dennis, there's this duality. As I start to get older, I feel that there's this duality. It's like you like making people happy, but most of the world knows you as this crazy guy, maybe a guy that seeks the PR, seeks the spotlight, and there's this duality to you. What do you say to those folks that don't truly know you and know that side of you?
Dennis
People know that I don't seek the PR or the satisfaction to be famous. Every day, I would go out and ask people, my friends, people that come up to us. I ask them this stupidest questions. I say, “Let me ask you a question. How much are you worth?” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “The clothes you got on right now, how much do they cost?” “This is Gucci. It costs $800. This watch costs $10,000. These shoes cost $5,000.” I said, “Now, I’m working for my $50. I got these for free. These are my $6. Here it is free. This was free. The glass is by $20.” The only expensive about me is my teeth. It cost $20,000. A lot of people have engaged with me as far as like, “This guy is cool as hell. He is normal. People love talking to me like that.”
Dustin
It doesn't seem like it, but do you ever feel the pressure to be the Dennis Rodman that people want you to be, the entertainer, the outlandish bad boy?
Dennis
Sometimes, when I go out and do some gigs, say I go to Vegas, they call me a King. I'm going to Vegas and they say, “Dennis, we didn’t pay you to be this.” All of a sudden, I go there, if I was drinking, I could go to get 40 shots of Jägermeister, then you will start to the Dennis or whatever. Those days are gone. I don't know what their impression is, but people see me like, “We love you, Dennis.” That's my satisfaction. Money doesn't make me happy. Everybody in the documentary will say the same thing. I don't do anything for money to make me happy. I do things for people to like me. You said about the PR, no, that doesn't do anything for me. I love entertaining myself. When I go out, I could entertain people. I look at people and I try to absorb how they were filling out the daily life up going now. That's my enjoyment every day.
Dustin
Dennis, I don't want to spill the beans on the 30 For 30 here, but I want to talk about one part. One of my favorite parts of it is when they're describing you balling. You work out after you play a 48-minute game and then going out and drinking. I didn't even think they used the word gazelle to describe you in that time frame. Those nights you were partying and doing this routine, did you ever feel the wheels were coming off or this is just life, this is your routine, your way of being? Did you ever feel it was crazy at that time?
Dennis
A lot of people around me were thinking that the wheels are going to come off anytime, “He’s partying. He’s doing this. He's doing that. He's burning both ends of the candle.” I didn't see it that way because I was so used to doing what I was doing. I was doing workouts, playing the game, go party, workout, and putting it out. That's my routine. As long as I'm working out, I'm doing good. My mind was so directed towards staying in shape and being mentally prepared for what I had to do. Everybody around me said, “You drank a lot. You party a lot.” I didn't see it that way. I was going with the flow. I was going with the moment. I didn't think about money. I didn’t think about health. In some parts of it, I did but I didn't think. I knew that the day that I had to retire was coming to an end, but I thought that I was so invisible. Everyone's probably running good and I work out. Everything is fine. Little did I know that wasn't the case. I don't think the wheels fell off until after I retired from basketball.
Dustin
You think with the partying and stuff, if you would channel that energy to what the players eat now, this gourmet, nutrition stuff, getting nine hours of sleep. You think you play your game better or that’s just your fuel?
Dennis
That's my fuel. A lot of kids now are very hyper. They're very energetic. They’re very elusive as far as they can't wait to be on the phone and text. They can't wait. That was me playing sports. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and me, we always had a bet almost every week. We always go to test our body fat and body weight. Every week we had this challenge, Michael Jordan would be 219 pounds, I'll be 218 pounds and Scottie Pippen would be 220 pounds. If it fluctuates every week, Scottie would be 3.9, Mike would be 3.8, I'll be 4.0. We made this go back and forth all year round. We were such in good shape. We had the ability to train that energy into the winning basketball games. That was one good thing about ACC opponent with us three with Phil Jackson.
Dustin
I want to ask you this. I want to talk about some ball. In college, you are a scorer. You're putting up points but the NBA, you rebounded. Was there an opportunity? Was it a strategy? How did you make that shift from scoring and rebounding in college but in NBA, you focused on a defensive machine?
Dennis
They told me something one day, they sought me out. They said, “He's so energetic. Slow down.” I will do lines up and down. I’ll run all day. I never get tired. One day, I went to his house and he said, “Dennis, I'm going to tell you something. The one thing you’ve got to understand, I want you to pay attention when I'm saying this to you. I want to say that good things come to people who wait.” I still didn't understand what he was saying. He said, “Do you understand what I said?” I said, “No.” He said, “Good things come to people who wait. You understand what I'm trying to talk to you about.” One day, we plan the Lakers at the forum. I was at half court. Someone was shooting a free throw, Joe Dumars. Tommy came to the half court and he hit me so hard on my chest. He said, “I'm going to tell you something. This is no BS. This is for real. We've tried to win a championship. Get your mind right. Get your act together. Come on. Stay here.” At that point, with what Tommy did to me, I said, “I’ve got to do something to fit in with this team.” I was like a lost child on a team but I was so energetic. I want to do everything. That changes my whole thought. I’m trying to fit on a team and be in it in the NBA.
Dustin
You played on some incredible teams, bad boys. You played with Michael and Scottie, Kobe and Shaq. Is there anyone you wish you had the opportunity back then or now?
Dennis
I wouldn’t trade that lineup at all. I would not trade that at all. There was a destiny for me to be here now. It was destiny for me to do what I did. If I had another path along my way, I wouldn't be here. That's a true fact. I crossed a lot of barriers. When I went to San Antonio, I crossed the barrier in the gay community, the lesbian community. I tried to transcend to a lot of people around the world pretty much when I went to San Antonio. People around the world respect me for that. I'd have no qualms to release that. At least I had the negative indentation, the fact that they try to go out of the box. People look at them differently but I understand it. People started to like me for that because I was so independent and free with myself as far as like, “This is me. Here we go, let's play.” People would gravitate to that. When I went to Chicago, it was all open arms. When I left, life has been the same ever since. Everyone has open arms for me the whole time.
Dustin
Dennis, you're undoubtedly a badass now. You were a badass back then. I'm very curious. When you looked at the schedule, when the team was communicating, who was the guy that you knew was going to be a matchup? You're going to dominate them, but you're going to walk away with some bruises. Who was that guy? Was there no matchup for you?
Dennis
I knew right away before we even set on the floor, I said, “You don’t go with Dominique Wilkins, even Hakeem Olajuwon. You don’t go with Charles Barkley. You don’t go with Magic. You don’t go with Burns.” I knew that already. I had to set my mind to that point. Bart played slow but he got a great shot. Magic, he does this little thing he does. Charles Barkley is a bully. Hakeem Olajuwon has all the moves. I had to adjust my mind to all the different players. I don’t want to compete with these guys. The mental part of me is my team was depending on me to stop these guys. That was my whole thing is to make sure I get my job done. I'm sure they'll get their job done. That's pretty much how my life was in the NBA.
Dustin
You played under two of the greatest: Chuck Daly and Phil Jackson. What made them great leaders?
Dennis
They understood the individual. They understood the fact that I wasn't the typical husband type of guy, that I wasn’t a family type of guy. I was the typical type of guy that was very independent, a loner. They knew the fact that when they saw me come to the door, I’m ready. They didn't need to come to talk to me. I was already there. When I come in, I got my earphones on playing Pearl Jam every day pretty much. When they see me walk in flip flops, sweatpants, T-shirts, earphones, they knew I was locked in. Those two coaches respected me. They wouldn't have to talk to me. They said, “Go play it.” Phil said, “You know what to do, go play it.” People didn't even have to talk to me to motivate me, to energize me to go out and do my job. I'm a lot.
Dustin
I want to talk about some business. We’ve got a lot of people that are entrepreneurs reading this. I want to talk about some biz here. You did things in sports that nowadays, guys are doing it. They’ve got social media. You were building a brand. I'm curious, was there any strategy or thought or you live in like you and you happen to be good at building a brand?
Dennis
Looking back then, people weren't trying to build a brand. The brand was already there, like tennis shoes, Hanes or cereal boxes. I was a brand by myself. I didn't even know it. People ask, “How did you do that? How do you do that?” “What am I doing? I'm living life, having fun and I’m doing my thing.” I didn't need Nike, Adidas, Puma, Converse or anybody to make me. I did everything by myself. One thing I pretty much wore what is commercialized was tennis shoes. I didn't do a commercial with that. In Chicago, Michael came to me and said, “Dennis, we’ve got these different shoes we would like you to wear.”
I guess the shoes go this way, mine went that way. Michael Jordan said, “Dennis, your shoes are so mine.” I said, “I know. This is going to be funnier. I’m not doing a commercial for you.” Michael Jordan for two years in Chicago. I didn’t do any ads. They saw that the shoes were different. It had shoelaces on the side. He said, “I'm proud of you. You did this all by yourself.” I said, “I know.” He said, “A lot of people are wondering, how do you do what you do?” I was like, “I don't know what I did. I don’t know what to say about that. I like entertaining.” I was going through my Rolodex in my mind as far as my lifestyle and my livelihood. I go back to when I was down in the projects and I used to leave my house for a time. I used to visualize things before it happened and what I want to do in life. When you live in the projects, you don't have that opportunity to do what’s on your mind. You have to go to reach your goals because there is nothing there for you to reach. I used to go out all the time and think. I'll sit there. I try to run straight. I visualize this and keep doing it over and over. I said, “I wish I could do this. I wish I could do that,” even though it was a dream at the time.
When I do revert back to those times, and I'll come back to the present, I thought, “I did all that. How did I do that?” I have no clue, but I knew the fact that I'm so creative in my mind. People haven't noticed me. I'm very creative. I'm very central when it comes to visualizing things ahead. I don't look at things now. I look at things five, ten, fifteen years down the road. I can see tomorrow is easy. Next week is easy. Tomorrow is the fact that you’ve got to wake up. I think about that and, “Am I living next week.” I know I'm going to live next week. I got that part. I want to see something five years down the road when I'm 65 years old or 60 years old or whatever I will be. I want to see how good I am now. If I can reach that goal, you have another five. That's how I look at it. All along the way, I'm going to bring something to the table and not just for myself and my kids, but to people around me and people in the world. That's what I want to do and leave that legacy. He does some cool shit. He does some bad shit. He did some awesome shit. That's what I want to do. I don't want gratification on this. If you’re happy, you’re happy. That’s great, let me ride in the sunset.
Dustin
I’ve got the visualization. I still want to get some of your magic sauce. I’ve got to ask you, no interview about marketing, business or branding would be complete without talking about the dress. How did the dress come to be?
Dennis
I was doing something in London and the book was coming out. On a private plane, I had a makeup artist and I had a designer. I wore a suit and everyone said, “What are you going to wear for the book signing on Fifth Avenue in New York?” I didn't know what Fifth Avenue was. Even then, I didn’t know. I've been living there for several years now, but I have never been on Fifth Avenue. I said, “We’ll get a suit.” They were like, “What kind of suit do you want, Armani, Gucci or Versace?” I said, “That's too boring. What about this, how about if I married myself?” Everybody looked at me like, “What did you say?” I said, “How about if I married myself? Give me a wedding dress. I’ll walk down Fifth Avenue.” It's a moment of silence. They were like, “Did he just say that?” The guy got on a phone. He got a designer out of London. He made me a dress and I went to the hotel. The day before the hotel, I went down to the gym and I saw Steven Tyler on a bike. I set the bike I rode aside.
He said, “Dennis, how are you doing?” “Great.” I looked at Steven Tyler and I look to myself. I said, “You dress a lot of cool shit. The women's clothes, the scarfs and all this stuff.” He said, “That's my gimmick.” “I love it.” I looked at him and I said, “I'm doing a book signing tomorrow. What do you think about wearing a wedding dress tomorrow?” He jumped out of the bike and said, “That is awesome. Do that, Dennis.” “It's a wedding dress. They bought it,” I said. He said, “That's even better.” I said, “Great.” He said, “I'm going to watch it on TV. Go forward.” I'm upstairs getting a wedding dress on and people are, “This is going to be epic. This is going to be awesome.”
Dustin
Are you nervous at all?
Dennis
No. I wasn't nervous at all. It's another thing I'm doing. I said, “Let's do it. Get it out of the way.” We got there. I had bridesmaids or however you want to call them, girls wearing tuxedos in high heels. They are walking down by the horses and I'm two blocks away. I decided to get out of the carriage and walk down the movie street. The girls are walking here. I'm walking in the middle, walking down a street and all of us. I guess people got wind of it in the buildings. All you see are people looking at the buildings and I was like, “This is going to be a problem because people don't want to stop at the window. That’s okay. Let's get through this.” I looked down at the store. It has so many people. As I was walking, it kept growing and growing.
They said, “Dennis, I’m going to marry if that was the bride.” They didn’t know it was me. I'm walking down and all of a sudden, there are thousands of people, cameras and stuff like that. I walk in and go in. Instead of the bell, it has an assignment book like that. I haven't spoken at all. I was like, “Whatever.” They said, “Who are you marrying now?” I said, “I’m signing and the next day they know I did this.” They were like, “He got us.” I wasn't trying to shock them. All of a sudden, it got worked. It got even more and people were in the streets. He said, “That's probably been the best marketing move ever.”
Dustin
That took you around the world.
Dennis
It went around the world quickly. Even I still didn’t understand what I was doing as far as I tried to shock people. I wasn't trying to shock, I wanted to try something different. That is pretty much an epic thing in my career. People always look at that, the wedding dress. As you see it now, you see a lot of guys wearing dresses in commercials and doing a lot of women's stuff and in drag. All the modeling tools that people are using now, I've been doing it for many years in sports. I see that they can get away with it, you see back what I'm trying to do. A lot of people you see in the NBA or any sports now, they are trying to reach different demographics with these kids now.
Kids are so enamored about what athletes want to say and what they do. Even with me now at 58, people always want to know what I'm doing. I'm very fortunate about that because I could be a guy that's 58 at the NBA and people won't even give a damn about me. Other athletes now, I like that people don't care what they are doing. I'm very fortunate that I had the ability to reach people even now. People always ask me for advice about that digital summit in Detroit. We look it up. There were 5,000 people wanting to know the same thing you just asked me, “How do you become this marketing brand?” I was like, “What do you mean marketing brand? What am I branding?”
If people say, “What is Beyoncé branding?” She started with Gucci. She has branded that. She brands her name, but I know that she has not branded anything like Jay Z. They are not branding. They want other people's products. I'm branding Dennis pretty much. People like the way I dress and how I present myself. With the gay community that I love so much, they don't have any judgments about anything you do. They love you to be you. For me to cross over like that in our community, they respect me because I respect them. With the athletes nowadays, as far as, “I want to be gay, I want to come out of closet and be gay.” If I told people I was gay back say San Antonio or Chicago, if I were talking about being gay back then and had a gay lover, I would've been so happy and proud to be gay in the NBA.
That is to show people, “You don’t pay me to be what I'm doing off the court. You pay me with what I do on court.” I don't give a damn. I'd be almost so infamous for that more than a wedding dress. I think that people look at me more like that. I take risks. I take chances. It's not the risks and chances that I take that people don't like, it’s the risks and chances I take that people want to do. They’ve got to live through that. I don't give a damn if I will keep doing it. As long as you don't hurt anybody, as long as it makes you feel good, do it.
Dustin
Dennis, so many people want a piece of you back then. They want a piece of you now. I'm curious when you look at biz opportunities, how are you looking at the deals you're doing now?
Dennis
My eyes are open now. Back then, my eyes are so closed. I'm ready to party. That was all my whole thing was. I didn't care about the money but now my eyes are open. I'm very clairvoyant. I like engaging now. I’m pretty much engaged. I want to see the product now. If I’m creating it, I want to see it. I see what I'm doing and stuff like that. Back then, I'm creating it, take it, go ahead and make the money, but I don’t give a shit. Now, I'm seeing it. I am proud of it. I said, “Wow, I actually did that.” They would ask me, “You really did that?” Even though I was telling myself, I'm thinking about something else now. That was then and now I'm going over here and doing something else. I like doing that. I'm proud of doing that. Even now, people ask me for advice about what is the next step? I couldn't go to Microsoft. I can go to Autowave. I can’t go to this billionaire corporate business and ask, “Can I do something different for your brand?” No. It would be different.
Geico asked me years ago when they did that commercial, they did that changed their company around. Even though I had an idea, the same concept they had. Geico as far as one of the companies I know that had that nest to go out the box. When I did the airport with the ape, when people saw that commercial, I was enameled. I was thinking the same lines, but I when the guy goes out, “I want to do a commercial for this.” People didn't even get that constant. They say, “What made that commercial so transcended for Geico to be revived themselves?” I asked people that question. They said, “The ape,” and I said, “Nope. It was the jingle. That's all it was.”
It was the ape and it was the jingle that made people pay attention to it. It drove that whole market campaign like that down in and you enjoyed it. The marketing campaign has done it. People believed they were deciding about it. People didn’t know it is a commercial for insurance. That was a whole thing about that. All of a sudden, they start a trend. Everybody's doing it. It was doing a whole thing. It started doing commercials at people and realize what it is, the product. The only product that people realized was really strong then was Corona. The only time they did a commercial is with a bottle on a beach. They sold the whole thing. All of a sudden, they had their campaign. People start talking. The simplest shit in the world makes money. You can create a wheel because it should keep rolling without you. That’s okay. What's next is I look at little simple things like the shoes in hospitals. What's it called?
Dustin
Crocs.
Dennis
Those shoes weren’t designed for that. It felt so off the norm. It felt so comfortable. All of a sudden, that guy was beating there. These rubber shoes, they were something simple. When you are in the garage and you want to wear rubber shoes, “Dang on it.” Next thing it took off. Then the next thing you know, here comes UGG. All of a sudden, they started making more shoes, different kinds of shoes. They started to do this now and they make sheets, blankets, pillowcases and you’re hot and women love it. It's very rare when you find a good gimmick to foresee how it's going to happen. In Alaska, they never did that. That was very genius. A very broad force mind was Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs pretty much put up the technology. When he's on his deathbed, they asked him to come back. He created all the iPads for the future. That's my legacy to do stuff like that, to bring something to the table forever lasting.
Dustin
Dennis, one of the things we covered on the show is money. What is the best money move in your career?
Dennis
Getting a divorce.
Dustin
I've got a follow-up question about what is your best money move?
Dennis
That's probably the best one and the worst money move is I never kept it.
Dustin
What's your advice for the young generation athletes, business owners, entrepreneurs coming up?
Dennis
As far as money comes and goes, pretty much you have to lose money to make money. That's a given. A lot of people want to do things fast. You want to go out there, try to shoot the whole run of the good. You’ve got to understand one thing, you’ve got to get on base first to do anything. Once you hit a single low blooper, all is good. Then you can add value. When you hit that double, that's better. It's very hard to hit triple these days because when you get to third base, it is a whole lot. Kids now, they want to move so fast. They want to do things fast. They want money now.
It doesn't work that way. You’ve got to put your time and energy into it to understand what you are doing and to do your research. If you're thinking about something about this table here, someone's already got that. That’s okay. If you want to talk about the flower here, it grows every day. You can't do anything about that. You've got to think about your resources and try to mimic it. You have to have a little twist to it. Open your eyes, let your mind think a little bit. They might think because it doesn't hurt to think.
A lot of people now think that thinking will kill them. It won’t hurt a thing and it puts a smile on your face when you have a good idea when you're thinking. That's what I do. I think and I just smile. “I'm going to do that. It may be a bad idea but I'm going to try it anyway.” People nowadays, the G generation, should take that time to think and get that great idea. Ask somebody and do your research. If you want to do it, pursue it. It doesn't hurt to fail. It doesn't hurt to fail when you're going to AA. If you fail, try it again. Be back.
A lot of entrepreneurs nowadays, a lot of people when they get risks, they forget about the people. The side effect that you got so much money and you feel like that when you reach that goal, you forgot what got you there. People should keep it in their minds, when you make money, don't forget how you made it and how you got there? Everyone in the world needs help with something or do something about anything. Everyone in the world needs help. It doesn't hurt to ask for help. There are 2,336 billionaires in the world. They all need help. Bill Gates needs that other guy. That other guy needs the other guy. How you become a billionaire is you need help. No matter if you've got billions or $1 million, you need help to get what you want to be.
The old thing is when is enough money for you to be happy? If you want to go down that path, how much money do you need to be happy? It’s the path you choose. Deal when you get to that point. Don’t ask questions when you go up to the top and all of a sudden you're lonely like me. I'm trying to find a way to get myself grounded and right here, they'd be satisfied. That's a question people should ask when you start inventing and trying to create things. I understand that road. I have a lot of bumps. Once you pass those bumps and once everything so screwed out and you'd get what you want to be, now what’s up?
Dustin
I have to ask you this. Growing up I watched my share of The Apprentice. I saw you. You were on twice. What was that like? How does that go down? You get a phone call saying, “Do you want to be on the show?” What was that experience like?
Dennis
It was funny though. Donald Trump called me and called Darren. Darren said, “You wanted Dennis on show?” “Yeah, let him down.” He asked, “Why do you want Dennis on the show?” “For ratings.” That's pretty much what it was. I’m smart but I never showed that on TV. I was there for 40 minutes on the show having a good time, going out to bars, having a good time with Khloe and all those motherfuckers. Every night, Tom Green, we had a blast of it. We can’t wait for 6:00 and hang to fuck over. We try to think of how to do a project, what is that? I'm always over there and how to do this. Donald was always like, “Dennis, you're doing well. Don't worry about it.” He fired me up. I was ready to get the heck out of it. We were ready. I was ready to go day one. I think that he used at one of the episodes, the fact that I was drinking a lot at the time. He used one of the episodes to get people to understand that alcohol is not the way to go.
They had that episode about me when I left. That was an experience for me on TV. That has added to my demise as far as being in a wild, crazy mode. Donald Trump said, “Dennis, I'm going to give you another chance to go and redeem yourself. Let the world know that you are smart.” He gave me an opportunity. I'm thanking him for that. That's why me and Donald get along because he sees the trial and tribulations that I've been through like a lot of people around the world. He gave me the opportunity and I got back on the show. It turned out very well. Things panned up. People saw that I can do things without the influence.
Dustin
Did you campaign for him in 2016?
Dennis
I did not campaign for Donald Trump. I said, “We are friends but what you’re doing as far as the world, for the country, I don't want to pay attention,” because Donald Trump loves to talk. He was going Twitter talking all that mess. Me and Donald are friends. I like Donald as a friend but his policies, I don't know where did he get that shit from.
Dustin
Do you think he has a shot coming up?
Dennis
He's going to win no matter what. Why change? He's already there. More power to him. I say Donald's going grow old so fast. He's already grown old. He's going to be every year, we let people be like almost 80. I like Donald. He's a funny guy. The shit that comes out of his mouth, it's funny. Sometimes, they've done on these issues who they engage with people that started trying to talk out them. I think he's so over people. The fact that it's more like, “You do what I say. If you don't do that, you're fired.” That sucks. He needs understanding. He needs to engage with people. A lot of people when you see them, they have to see right through it.
We in this country now, we are so angry with each other. A lot of people are trying to blame Donald for that. We should be blaming ourselves. Don't blame somebody else while we were on that course anyway. If there is a danger to even walk on a street more or less than try to communicate. I think that he said, “Make America great again,” that doesn't seem to work out too well. I told Donald, “I'm trying to make a difference in America. I'm trying to make a difference in the world. That's what I'm trying to do and with this wellness stuff like that.” I'm going his help kids. A lot of kids listen to me and that's what I'm trying to produce. I'm trying to do this whole campaign to get kids healthy and getting kids' minds in the right direction. I'm going to come over to some type that kids can believe in and trust in. Those are my next venture right there.
Dustin
Dennis, I can feel your passion, your emotion. You played with that in your career. I can feel it. I think the world may have a misunderstanding about you. I think that comes with the territory. It comes with it. I want to give you this opportunity. Sometimes, people give you a bad rep for the whole North Korea thing.
Dennis
You couldn't help that question. You’ve got to go to that.
Dustin
I feel like more than anything, people want to paint you in a box or they're going to paint you. What do you want people to know about that experience? To set the record straight.
Dennis
To set the record straight, people didn't realize the fight that I was doing as far as why I went to North Korea. I think of the fact that I knew that I didn't know what I was doing. I went to North Korea because when I first went there, I thought I was just going to sign an autograph. I didn't know one thing about North Korea at all. I got wind of it pretty much the seriousness of North Korea. The week before I was going, they said, “Take care of yourself.” I said, “That's okay. It will be fine.” I didn't understand the fact that I was going to do something that's powerful in the world. I didn't know then about politics in North Korea and America. I didn’t know about that.
When I went there, I didn't expect to meet him at all. I was playing with the Harlem Globetrotters. For some reason, they came and got me. I went up and sat down. He came out and sat down beside me. People were crying and clapping. I don't know what this is all about. There are 25,000 people crying. People were trying to climb over to get to these little kids. I'm looking at him and I'm like, “Wow.” All my friends are like, “What the hell?” I didn't know who this guy was. He said, “This is our leader.” I say, “Great.” We started talking basketball and he said, “Dennis, I love you. I love Chicago.” It was pretty cool. We went to the whole game. We talked about basketball and about entertaining. He always said to me, “Dennis, I would love to go to America.” He's telling me this. I don't even know this guy. “I would love to go to America.” “I see you do. Let’s go to America then.” The interpreter and dictator were saying, “We can't. He can't do that.” I said, “I didn't know a thing about politics. We can't do this.”
Basically, the more we talk and more of that understanding of what the situation was, I learned about North Korea in North Korea with those guys. All the people around him and people in the military, I learned about them. He’s so adamant about me because I don't ask him anything about his family or the politics or the war missiles. I don't ask anything about that. I don't think about that. All I do is go in there to have fun and talk about life. With my eyes, I see North Korea changing. It was a great experience when we went over there. I'd love to go back. If Donald Trump would open the gates, I'm going back. Donald, let me go back. They call once a month. They want me to come back. They welcomed me to come back. He said, “Dennis, no matter where you are in the world, you are always safe.” Every time I see him, he’s telling me, “You’re always safe in the world.” I said, “Thanks.”
I think that when I first went on, it was a bait when he was the president over there and I tried to start to try to talk to people about this. “Before I went to North Korea, no one gave a damn about North Korea. Nobody cared about North Korea. Even though they’re still doing the same shit they’re doing now, no one cared about North Korea several years ago.” When I went over there and started breaking the gap, all of a sudden, people started to talk about them. All of a sudden, this bait thing came out. People thought I was going to rescue him. I didn’t know if I can be. When I came back, they said that they’re going to release or bail.
People looked at me like, “Dennis, you did a great job,” which I didn't know and think about that. Kim came back and he said he lost it. He thanked me for saving him, which I didn't know that was my whole job. When I went back the next time, there was another guy that was hostage I guess, which I didn't know about anything that either. I went over there and I was on his yacht. He was having a birthday party for him. He came to me and he said, “Dennis, I'm going to show you something.” I said, “I agree.” We go to the next room and we smoke a cigarette. They went back to have a conference. They came back and said, “Dennis, we have a surprise for you but you’re going to wait.”
When I was living in a boat and going home, my guys were telling me, “Do you know what they are going to do to you, only for you? They were going to release that guy that was in prison, but someone stepped in the middle of that.” I didn't know anything about that time until I got back on a plane going back home. They said, “They were going to release that guy to you to go back home to America.” I found out that he was sick, he couldn't move, he couldn't do anything. That's the reason why he couldn't come back with me. I didn't know until I got to my plane. I brought the bridge closer to us. It was a peaceful thing. It was a voice. When Donald Trump said that he's going to meet with him in Singapore.
Dustin
I thought it was in North Korea.
Dennis
I think it was in Singapore. When he had the summit and people gave me so much grief about saying, “I liked the guy. He's cool to me.” I had to go hide in Jersey for 45 days. I was getting death threats, my kids were getting death threats. I had to hide for 45 days and people didn't give a shit about that. When they did a summit years ago, Donald Trump got out of the car and people don't remember this. When he got the car, the first thing he said was, “I don't know if I liked this guy in 30 seconds.” Go back to tape when he got the car and said that, “I don't know if I liked this guy in 30 seconds. I like one not, if not, I’ll walk out.” I'm like, “Great.” Five hours later, he was there for five hours at the meeting. There's a meeting. The whole time Donald Trump is doing this, “We have a great relationship. I like you.” The whole time shaking and smiling. I said, “If you realize what he was doing.” He was trying to sugarcoat on that bullshit. “I like this guy. He's a cool guy.” He was like, “Kim Jong Un, he's awesome.”
I've been talking to people over seven years. The guy is not a bad guy. He inherited a country. He's trying to change, but I think he has to keep that hopeful melody for the country. If you own a country and people are trying to regulate you to join the rest of the world, it's very difficult because your whole life is like that. Your whole family is like that. We had to keep that in the family and try to have some structure. He's trying to structure where he's trying to slowly bring more current back into the 21st century.
Dustin
In a way, Dennis, what I feel is like, and I don't want to put words in your mouth, but what I want to say that there's that pressure right to be somebody. He's got a whole country. You face that to be that, to be Dennis Rodman in some ways. In the same way, I can see how you can be empathetic and I can see how you can relate because you guys bear that pressure.
Dennis
We bear that. I said, “Don't be surprised if Donald Trump asked Kim Jong-un to come to America in three months.” People will be surprised. If he does come here, he'll be the biggest thing to hit America's soul besides Jesus, Moses and everybody who are behind those guys. He will be the biggest thing even though he’s 5’2”. I don't give a damn how you look at it. He probably has millions of people watching him.
Dustin
You're going to get a call if that happens.
Dennis
I should get a call then. I would say, he’d be the biggest thing pretty much since sliced bread or water. We just wanted to class him. Definitely, people in America will embrace that god just like we do every other dignitary and president one in a world. They were like, “That's him. That's the guy trying to destroy the world. Is this a sign?” It was going to video. People don't realize the fact that it's so cool to go out of the box. People won't like me, but I'm going to do it anyway. When people tried to invent things, they try to be creative and try to do a brand good. Understand that it's okay to be on edge.
Dustin
I appreciate the fire and the passion that you bring to it. We've been going at this for a while. What's most important to you right now? What are you working on that you want to share with the world?
Dennis
What's more important to me is I want to have some peace of mind with myself. The fact that I want to revisit all my ugliest and all my demise, all my demons, all my happiness and my sadness. I'm going to revisit all those things that would've got me to this point. The fact that if I tried to absorb that into today's world and print in a little moment and be satisfied that I try to live the best life, which I didn't. I continue on with my journey as far as creating things for the world. I’m very fortunate of the fact that real people stand behind me.
You’ve got that new book I call Aiming High. That's all I'm trying to do right now. As he would applaud that dumb shit, but he wrote a good book. This is a good book to read though. You guys go ahead and get that. That's my whole thing now. I think this one, revisit my life and try to smooth things out. I sit there and try to focus my life in a really good nature now. People should do that too. They should revisit their lives. What would you do differently back then that you're doing now? It's like, “Let me go home and think about that one.” That's what I'm doing. I'm focusing on how to make myself happy. I’m trying to appreciate myself more. I try to love my kids. That's a big one. I’m trying to understand my mother. That's another big one.
My father, I don’t know about that one. I don't know where he’s at in the world. I hope he's doing well. There are a lot of holes. This is what I'm talking about, the documentary now. That's why I left a lot of holes there. I have people, they cut it out. I had to go see and finish these things. A lot of kids now, they need to understand that, too. Even though you live in today's society and at present, things are moving so fast. You forgot what happened a couple of weeks ago. You need to take time off for you to understand that you want to create something. You do take time to create. I think the bond within yourself is awesome. If you can communicate to yourself and then you can sit there, allow yourself to release some of those things internally to people. People are not listening these days.
If they ask you to listen, I bet you get some enjoyment out of that. That's what I'm going right now, trying to get my joy out of myself first because I'm tired. I'm not tired of doing things for other people. I think that has worn me down so much that I'm building myself back up and I’m grown up now. From several years of coming to the NBA up to this day. My mind has to love me. I take the fact that I've loved my whole life flow without me realizing what I was doing. I'm trying to catch up. When I catch up, I had to see clearly now where I'm going until the day I die.
Dustin
Dennis, thank you big time for being who you are in the world and coming on the show. If people want to keep tabs with you, maybe get you for appearances or maybe pitch some biz opportunities, what's the best way to follow up Dennis Rodman?
Dennis
The best way is through Instagram, social media. People know how to reach me. If you want to reach me, give me a shout out. Go on my Instagram and then that's where you would know my story. Look for 30 For 30 and all the kids of the world. Look at that piece. We need that emotion in our lives, brothers and sisters. Look at that thing. Would it be careful what you ask for in the world? Look at my piece and you guys could learn a lot of good things out of that. It is something that will help you along the way. That's come from Dennis Rodman. Mahalo.
Dustin
Dennis, thank you. I appreciate you for sharing the wisdom and being on the show.

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Check Yourself: Keep a Work Checklist & Up Your Productivity

Check it out! You can improve your productivity by keeping a work checklist. Learn how to write one and take your career to the next level.

Check Yourself: Keep a Work Checklist & Up Your Productivity

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Developing a Warrior Mindset

Developing a Warrior Mindset

How to Shatter Your Fear, Upgrade Your Brain, & Fight Your Way to Financial Freedom

David Fabricius

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