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Rodman Redux Wild living and a motorcycle spill may have dashed Dennis Rodman's comeback hopes, but the larger question remains: Can the Worm turn himself around?

Nov. 03, 2003
Nov. 03, 2003

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Nov. 3, 2003

Rodman Redux Wild living and a motorcycle spill may have dashed Dennis Rodman's comeback hopes, but the larger question remains: Can the Worm turn himself around?

"Take it for a spin," a manager of a Las Vegas gentlemen's club
urged Dennis Rodman, handing him the keys to his custom-made
Carlini motorcycle. It was 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19, and Rodman
had spent the past couple of hours engaging in two of his
favorite recreational pursuits: sucking down sweet drinks and
getting lap dances from strippers. For whatever reason, the
manager just had to have Rodman ride his bike, and eventually the
former rebounding king climbed on.

This is an article from the Nov. 3, 2003 issue

Alas, he never made it out of the parking lot: Within seconds
Rodman tried to pop a wheelie, rammed into a pole and careened
into the concrete, gashing his right shin (20 stitches) and
ending his hopes of beginning this season on an NBA team's
roster. Instead of arguing for playing time, Rodman is to be in
court this month after being cited for suspicion of DUI in the
accident.

Rodman's life has been veering wildly since his last NBA stint
ended after just 12 games with the Mavericks in 2000. Contrary to
common assumption, the 42-year-old party animal is not broke, but
he does blow dough with abandon, usually in connection with
massive alcohol consumption. (In September he was jailed briefly
for alleged public drunkenness near his home in Newport Beach,
Calif., though no charges were filed.)

"He's way out of control," says Floyd Raglin, a Florida sports
marketer and former NFL defensive back who's a friend of
Rodman's. "Everybody likes to have fun, but I don't want to see
him get seriously hurt or kill himself--because that's where he's
headed."

In the wake of the motorcycle crash, even stronger messages were
delivered by Rodman's agent, Darren Prince, and by Michelle
Moyer, who became the third Mrs. Rodman last May. Prince and
Moyer both threatened to leave Rodman unless he got help for his
drinking problem, and for now he appears to be taking them
seriously.

Prince says Rodman has already begun seeing an alcohol counselor
and is taking Antabuse, a drug that causes violent illness if
alcohol is consumed. "This is a huge chapter in Dennis Rodman's
life," Prince says. "I told him, 'You're an alcoholic, and you
need to take care of it.' In the past he'd always said, 'Yes,
dude,' and brushed it off. This time he said, 'I know I do.'"

Rodman's story doesn't have to end tragically. He still makes
good money from personal appearances (he recently flew to Croatia
to guest-star on that country's Saturday Night Live equivalent),
from his Dallas excavation company and from Josh Slocum's, the
Newport Beach restaurant and nightspot he co-owns. While his
former agent, Dwight Manley, told The New York Times in June that
"Dennis could earn $200,000 a year just being Dennis Rodman,"
Prince says, "Hell, he made more than that in the last month.
He's about to shoot his first national TV spot for a FORTUNE 500
company [MasterCard]." A production company is talking with ESPN
about a reality show chronicling his escapades, Rodman on the
Rebound.

In May, Rodman started making plans to return to the NBA, a
comeback that drew interest from a half-dozen teams. But the
September incident scared off most of them, and Prince says his
strongest suitor, the Nuggets, backed off after the motorcycle
crash. Now Rodman is weighing an offer from a Chinese pro team
but hopes to land in the NBA by the All-Star break.

Rodman was back in Vegas last Saturday night, dining with friends
at P.F. Chang's and drinking bottled water. "I'm cool, bro," he
insisted. "I know everyone out there's waiting for me to crash
and burn, but I'm going to be O.K."

It won't be easy, but if he pulls this off, it will be his
greatest rebound of all.

--Michael Silver

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATION BY STEVE BRODNER
"Did a controversial nutritionist give athletes an illegal
edge?"--MINERAL MAN, PAGE 24