Basketball

ESPN offers peek at ’30 for 30’ documentary on Dennis Rodman: ‘A much more complex and nuanced picture emerges’

Looking for something to whet your appetite for the smorgasbord that ESPN's "The Last Dance" promises to be when the 10-part docuseries looking back at the Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen Bulls of the mid-1990s arrives next summer?

Here comes "Rodman: For Better or Worse."

ESPN released a trailer for the "30 for 30" look at former Bulls star Dennis Rodman on Thursday in advance of its scheduled debut at 8 p.m. on Sept. 10.

Directed by Todd Kapostasy ("Confessions of a Cubs Fan," "Making Tar Wars"), "For Better or Worse" aims to take the measure of the unlikely NBA-star-turned-flamboyant-sharp-elbowed Hall of Famer.

Rodman picked up three championship rings with the Bulls and two with the Bad Boys Pistons, along with sundry piercings along the way.

He also dabbled in pro wrestling, took a shot at becoming an action movie and TV star, became pals with North Korean despot and international pariah Kim Jong Un and fashioned an image of a first-class hedonist.

But what's lost in the caricature Rodman has created for himself is the complicated life he has led, the challenges he has overcome and those with which he still struggles.

Jordan is among those interviewed for "For Better or Worse," as are Bulls coach Phil Jackson and former Rodman teammates John Salley, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and David Robinson, among others.

"Attempting to uncover the underlying reasons and motivations behind his evolution from a shy, introverted kid in Dallas to the outrageous character we know and remember is at the heart of our film," Kapostasy said in ESPN's announcement.

"Many of us remember the counterculture persona Dennis created, but explanations for his behavior were, and still are, often reduced to the idea that 'he's just crazy' or 'Dennis Rodman's just an attention seeker.' But when you begin to piece together individual events of his life and the psychology that underpins them, a much more complex and nuanced picture emerges. That is the story we wanted to tell."

"The Last Dance," directed by Jason Heir ("Andre the Giant," "The '85 Bears," "The Fab Five") and with Jordan's Jump.23 among its producers, was announced in May 2018 and originally supposed to enjoy a 2019 premiere. But the date was pushed back late last year.

  Comments