Dennis Rodman is doing his darndest to set an all-time record for dumb things said lately, which is pretty offensive, because that’s my record and I work hard to protect it. Even so, his latest statement ranks right up there with his most absurd comments — which is saying something for a guy who cannot seem to say enough nice things about North Korea and his pal Kim Jong Un.
Rodman appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning to talk about the NBA Finals, naturally. Criticism of LeBron James is running high — again — after the Spurs opened the series with a 92-88 win over James’ Heat. Once again, James is hearing rumblings that he lacks the clutch gene, and Rodman went so far as to say James would be an “average” player if he played in Rodman’s heyday.
“If LeBron was playing in the late ’80s or early ’90s, he’d be just an average player,” Rodman said. “To do what Michael [Jordan] did, seriously? Michael did it with more charisma, was more articulate, stuff like that. LeBron is more like, there’s no flash to his game. He’s a great player, don’t get me wrong. He’s a hell of a player, I’ll give him that. But to me, Michael and Scottie [Pippen] are the best one-two punch I’ve ever seen, dude.”
Putting aside the way Rodman includes “charisma” and being “articulate” in judging how a person plays basketball, this is at least the second time he has disparaged one of the best small forwards ever. Back in 1987, Rodman was the guy who sparked the whole fiasco in which Isiah Thomas joked that Larry Bird would be “just another good guy” if he were white. Bird later diffused the controversy by saying he understood Thomas was being sarcastic, but most people forget it all started because Rodman called Bird “overrated” and claimed Bird only won three straight NBA Most Valuable Player awards because he was white.
News flash to Rodman: Bird was amazing, James is incredible and Kim Jong Un — well, we won’t go there.
Listen to Rodman’s full comments in the video below.