Dennis Rodman has been known to make some outrageous plays in his career. In this one, he baited a future playoff opponent into a technical foul by forcing him to do the salsa mid-game.
In a single moment, Dennis Rodman forced his opponent to commit a technical foul. This led to one of the most memorable plays in NBA history as well as setting an example for how players can manipulate referees without being punished
Dennis Rodman once baited a future playoff opponent into a technical foul by forcing him to do the salsa mid-game.
Dennis Rodman did all he could to irritate his opponents and interrupt the flow of games, from playing for the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons to becoming a more outlandish, headline-making presence with the Chicago Bulls. This includes a mid-game dance routine.
On Feb. 17, 1998, Rodman and the Bulls faced the Indiana Pacers in a showdown between two Eastern Conference rivals. In the middle of February, it could have seemed to be a typical regular season matchup. Collisions between the Worm and Pacers forward Antonio Davis, on the other hand, were always exciting.
Dennis Rodman coerced Antonio Davis into doing the salsa and got a technical foul as a result.
While Dennis Rodman is regarded as one of the best rebounders in NBA history, it’s crucial to note that his tiny height rendered him undersized for his position.
During his playing days, Rodman stood 6-foot-7, hardly the tallest physique for a power forward. Rodman made up for his lack of stature with effort and instinct, despite being a 4-man. Underneath, he mixed it up and clashed with opponents when required.
Demolition Man’s theatrics also contributed to his ability to have opponents focus on him rather than the ball. Antonio Davis understands. That game between the Bulls and the Pacers in February of 1998? It quickly devolved into a ballroom dance.
The officials blew their whistles when Rodman and Davis got tangled up near the hoop while vying for a rebound. As seen at the beginning of this YouTube video, the Worm places his left hand around Davis’ waist and starts walking the Pacers forth and back, as if doing an amateur salsa dance.
Davis was enraged at the behavior and retaliated. He pushed Rodman, receiving a technical foul as a consequence. The Bulls forward merely chuckled as he walked away, in true Rodman manner.
Rodman had no idea that when the Bulls and Pacers met in the playoffs in May, there wouldn’t be much to laugh about.
In the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals, the Pacers pushed the Bulls to seven games.
During the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Pacers were not expected to pose much of a threat to Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, and the Bulls. Reggie Miller and his associates, on the other hand, had different intentions.
Indiana converted a drab series into a brawl, pushing the Bulls to their breaking point. The Pacers lost the first two games of the series before winning the next two. Game 5 was won by Chicago, but Indiana won Game 6 and seemed to be on its way to a major upset when it grabbed an early lead in Game 7.
The Bulls, on the other hand, fought their way back. Chicago overcame an eight-point deficit in the first quarter to take the lead at halftime, then recovered control when the Pacers began the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run. Jordan contributed to the Bulls’ victory by outmuscling Indiana on the offensive boards and making all of the game’s final plays.
Despite this, the Pacers had given the series their best. They played a gritty, aggressive type of basketball that was difficult for the Bulls to handle.
Perhaps previous meetings with the Pacers foreshadowed the series’ outcome. Because, although Rodman irritated Davis, Davis had the same effect on the Worm.
Rodman and Davis had a number of run-ins.
During a game against the Indiana Pacers at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dennis Rodman disputes a call | John Ruthroff/AFP via Getty Images
Dennis Rodman and Antonio Davis had a short altercation in February 1998, but it was the latest in a series of conflicts between the two players.
During the 1995-96 season, during a game in Indiana, Davis hurled the Worm on the ground, plainly agitating Rodman. In March 1997, shortly after Rodman returned from a ban for elbowing former Milwaukee Bucks big man Joe Wolf, the two almost collided at the United Center. The intimidators were at it again only a few weeks later, with Rodman antagonizing Davis as he made his way up the court, and the two even taking brief punches at one other.
During his 14-year career, Dennis the Menace had his fair share of brawls. Playing against Antonio Davis, on the other hand, appeared to bring out a different part of Rodman, even his more creative and funky side.
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Dennis Rodman is a former basketball player who had a career that spanned from 1986 to 2013. He was the best defensive player of all time and has been called “the most unique player in NBA history.” Reference: dennis rodman best defensive player.
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