Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman has opened up about his suicidal debate in 1993 while he was a member of the Detroit Pistons.
Rodman, whose ESPN 30 for 30 documentary premieres this week, told Bleacher Report in a lengthy interview published Monday that he felt the organization betrayed him after a bevy of moves that also included the resignation of Chuck Daly. He said he started to feel alone.
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“So one day, I wrote a note and went to the parking lot of the Palace. I had a gun rack, and I had a gun in my car. I had it in my hand,” Rodman told Bleacher Report. “But for some reason, I played this music. I put it on, and I was listening to this song and this music, and I was just debating. It didn’t have anything to do with basketball. It had to do with this love that I wanted, and it suddenly just left me.
“And this song came on. It was Pearl Jam. ‘Even Flow’ and ‘Black’ and stuff like that. And I had the gun in my lap, and next thing you know, I fell asleep listening to Pearl Jam. Then I woke up, and all the cops and everyone was there. I didn’t know what was going on. I totally forgot I had a gun in my hand. They got me out of the car. That was pretty much what it was. It wasn’t about the game of basketball. It was about feeling betrayed, because I wanted to be loved so much in my life.”
Rodman lamented the fact there weren’t as many options to get help then as there are in today’s NBA. He told Bleacher Report that if he had the same options, he wouldn’t have gone that far.
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Craig Sager, the late NBA broadcaster, also revealed in 2016 in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he had a helping hand in stopping Rodman. He told the magazine he tracked Rodman down at a strip club and was certain he was going to commit suicide.
“He had the gun. He was going to do it. I told him how stupid that would be,” Sager said.
At the time of Sager’s death, Rodman thanked him for helping save his life.
Rodman played for the Pistons from 1986 to 1993 before moving on to the San Antonio Spurs and then playing with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
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He won five NBA championships over his career and was selected to the All-Defensive team eight times.