The Truth Behind Dennis Rodman And Donald Trump As Friends

Hot on the heels of Tiger King's success, Netflix — in production with ESPN — dropped a 10-part docuseries called The Last Dance, giving a historical account of Michael Jordan's time with the NBA's Chicago Bulls. The docuseries includes unaired footage from 1997-1998, aka Jordan's last season with the Bulls, per ESPN.

The series launched on April 19, 2020 and will release two episodes every Sunday until May 17, 2020. The series was supposed to launch in June 2020 but was released early due to the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN said of the 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," per the NBA's official website.

Although this series pays particular attention to Jordan, it wouldn't be complete without the story of basketball star Dennis Rodman. The New Jersey native's appearance in the doc has raised new questions about his life, including his curious friendship with none other than President Donald Trump.

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 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.)

The buzz around Rodman then shifted to politics, which was spurred by his curious friendship with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. Although the NBA star's friendship with Kim might be the strangest connection ever, Rodman also has an interesting 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 alleged drinking and erratic behavior, as Newsday noted at the time.

Since this was all so terrifically exciting, Trump brought Rodman back in 2013 for the show's all-star edition. Rodman became a project manager during Season 13 but fumbled when he misspelled 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, which started in 2014, after Rodman suggested that he and Trump travel to North Korea together, per CNN. Naturally, 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."

That same day, 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!"

However, things between the two seemed to improve in 2015 when Rodman endorsed Trump for 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, tweeting: "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 supposedly "loves power" and loves to "talk s**t." 

Talk about a classic case of frenemies!

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

In June 2018, Dennis Rodman's combined histories with President 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 since Rodman seemed to have a connection with both parties.

Rodman, who wore 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."

The athlete was visibly emotional and wiped tears from behind his sunglasses when recounting his return from North Korea in 2014, saying, "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 supposedly called him and said, "Donald Trump is so proud of you, he says 'thank you.'"

Rodman ended on a note of optimism about the meeting, stating, "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."