The Truth About Dennis Rodman And Madonna's Relationship

There are few constants in life, we know, but among them — death and taxes, of course — is the fact that former NBA all-star Dennis Rodman will never not be news. Even his old news can become news again — and for an example of this, look no further than the internet's recent obsession with the fact that Rodman dated Madonna more than two decades ago.

Unlike Madonna, Rodman has been known to be candid with the press about his supposed 1994 relationship with the pop singer — but his account of the nature of their relationship has changed considerably over time.

Interest in Rodman's decades-old tryst with Madonna rekindled in the wake of the 10-part ESPN documentary The Last Dance, which chronicles the Chicago Bulls' heyday in the 90s. which chronicles the '90s-era heyday of the Chicago Bulls. (After getting the boot from the Spurs, Rodman went on to play for the Bulls from 1995 until 1998.) The third and fourth episodes of the docuseries, which ESPN aired in conjunction with Netflix on April 26, 2020, prominently featured Rodman, including a 1995 interview clip in which he reluctantly answers questions about his possible paramour.

Were Madonna and Dennis Rodman 'just friends'?

In the aforementioned ESPN '90s clip, Dennis Rodman — in between receiving admonishments for his flamboyant and flagrant on-court conduct, which included dyeing his hair bright colors, painting his nails, and taking his shoes off during games — categorized his relationship with Madonna as a "fling" and referred to the artist as only a "friend." "I didn't know her that well. I mean, I knew her, but we talked a lot and that was about it," Rodman said at the time. 

"We got along real well... We're friends," he added, "And that's about it." Rodman's relegation of Madonna to the friend-zone is in stark contrast to his later retellings. Along with his account of alleged failed conception attempts, the former basketball MVP stated in his biography Bad As I Wanna Be that during the entirety of his "fling" — recast as a full-on relationship in the book — Rodman refused to "go down" on the singer during their sexual encounters (via Vulture).

Rodman also claimed in the book that Madonna would constantly send the basketball player faxes, in which she stated how much she "wanted to be with [Rodman]," and that she missed him during their times apart (via FanBuzz). According to Rodman, the hype surrounding their pairing culminated in a purported photoshoot for a VIBE magazine cover story in 1994, though the cover, much like their relationship, was ultimately scrapped.

Decades later, Dennis Rodman still can't stop talking about Madonna

Even though it's been over 20 years since Dennis Rodman and Madonna were an item, Rodman seemingly hasn't tired of talking about it. During a 2019 interview with radio station 105.1's The Breakfast Club, Rodman divulged that the iconic pop star once purportedly offered him $20 million to conceive a child with her.

As per Bleacher Report, Rodman alleged Madonna called him while he was on a pleasure trip in Las Vegas — in the middle of "rolling the dice" at a casino — to tell the five-time NBA champ that she was ovulating. As Rodman relayed, the basketball star reportedly boarded a flight to New York, courtesy of Madonna, to meet with her and, well, engage in acts necessary for conception.

Though Rodman's tale is only anecdotal at best, the two provided the media plenty of fodder during their highly publicized relationship in the mid-'90s. According to The Washington Post, Madonna frequented the locker room to pay Rodman visits during his tumultuous two-season tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, which when paired with Rodman's on- and off-court antics (such as missing or showing up late to games, incurring fines for misconduct on the court, and receiving strict warnings from then-NBA Commissioner David Stern) were enough cause to get him kicked off the team.

While Rodman's story has never been confirmed by Madonna, he had one thing to say about his supposed account: "I tried."